Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for the Rural Information Technology Jobs Initiative, which it is estimated that it will create 50 new jobs per year in rural communities in Washington state.

“The advances in technology have helped our economy enormously, but there’s more we can do,” Smith said. “We need to make sure all regions of the country, including our rural communities, are benefiting from the economic growth and job creation technology can help provide. The Rural Information Technology Jobs Initiative will help create good jobs in rural communities.

The goals of this initiative are to strengthen and diversify the economy of disadvantaged rural communities by creating information-based jobs, raise the technology skills level of workers in rural America, and reduce our dependence on skilled workers offshore.  It will also build the capacity of rural communities to continue creating jobs on their own in the future.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill and its funding will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.