Welcome to the Empower906 Blog. We’re on a journey to UP resilience and sustainability and we hope you will join us. We’ll use our website and this blog to highlight what we’ve learned from our partners and local communities in the UP and around the world.
There is plenty to highlight right here in our Upper Peninsula. Keith Meyers of Chassell has been running Remote Workforce Keweenaw. Keith is using the website to get the attention of remote workers who are looking for a new home with unique outdoor opportunities, lower cost of living and a great place to raise a family. Remote Workforce Keweenaw is a launch pad for information on Pinterest, Facebook and other social media. Topics include outdoor and historical points of interest, small business information and stories about recent workers who have made the Keweenaw their home. The site offers an invitation to ask for more information. Keith responds directly to those messages and has helped people make connections in the area. The site also points to “workcation” info on the Keweenaw Visitors Bureau website.
Keith started Remote Workforce Keweenaw in 2019 with a Regional Prosperity Initiative Community Marketing Mini-Grant from the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region. This helped set up the website and support social media marketing buys.
Remote workers are a growing group of people who have the freedom to work…and more importantly, live…anywhere. They are typically professionals with good incomes and help diversify the local economy. Studies have shown that for every new remote worker, up to 3 more jobs are created in construction, service and retail sectors. Historically, UP communities have focused on tourism and attracting new business. While these are still important, it’s now possible to attract new workers individually. Communities can use social media and the internet to highlight local features and opportunities that make their home special.
Whatever we do in our communities to attract remote workers are often the same things we do to improve community quality of life for current residents. This includes improved housing quality and availability, developing local features and attractions and enabling high speed internet. It’s important to encourage local cafes, restaurants and public buildings to invite people in to work and socialize. The Empower906 calls this a “Plan for Life”. We’ll share more about that in future updates.
Talk to your local leaders, business groups and visitor bureaus about how you can enhance and highlight what makes your community special. Empower906 is looking for ideas on how to combine individual area websites like Remote Workforce Keewenaw into a UP-wide umbrella remote work website. We’ll persevere together! Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out to us with your ideas.
Here are more references about remote workers and how rural communities can attract them: