Home Is Where the Jobs Are

Rural communities work with business to stop the brain drain

Wallace Harwood worked for almost five years as an information systems manager for an energy company in Nebraska, commuting 90 miles a day between his home in Kearney and his office in Lexington. By 2011 he’d found little opportunity for job growth and was thinking about leaving the state when he heard about a job with Xpanxion, an Atlanta-based custom software developer that has three offices in Nebraska, including two in Harwood’s hometown. In April 2012, he started a job as an automation engineer. “It completely changed the game for me,” says Harwood, 34. “I’m bringing in a good salary without the two-hour commute and with all of the benefits that you get from rural Nebraska.”

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