With better broadband, telecommuting could help local economy

Dave Nethaway works from home with his sidekick, Daniel the dog.

Dave Nethaway works from home with his sidekick, Daniel the dog.

— Bill Murphy, public relations manager and member of the Adirondack Teleworks, said the not-for-profit group has been working for three years to get funding for broadband projects in the region.

“We’re trying to promote current teleworks. We now have the ability to live and work here,” Murphy said. “Also we need to bring in training for workforce investment. We’re hoping to get money to start training people in digital literacy.”

Murphy said if they can get the funding, the goal is to begin digital literacy training in local libraries with 120-hour courses. At the end of the course, participants will receive a work readiness certificate.

“When people walk in with the course certification, they’ll have all the qualifications to work in a telecommuting situation,” Murphy said.

Keene couple

Established telecommuters working in the digital field can more successfully move their home offices to the Adirondacks, as opposed to vacationing here, according to Keene resident Dave Nethaway, who is vice president of technology for the Human Services Research Institution, based in Cambridge, Mass.

“The Adirondacks for us was always a place we said we’d want to retire one day or, if we were financially able, buy a second home,” Nethaway said. “Then we thought, ‘Why not live the dream now?’”

From his Boston office, Nethaway established a technology management network for his company’s West Coast branch.

“We wanted to recruit the best candidates for the job without losing the opportunity because they didn’t want to live where our offices were,” Nethaway said.

Essentially, Nethaway built a system to support telecommuting and then used it himself by moving to the Adirondack Park with his wife, Jessica Hartley.

Nethaway said he can’t do his job without email, VoIP technologies (voice over Internet protocol), chat technologies, video conferencing, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), online collaboration services like Sharepoint, VPN (virtual private network) and other remote access technologies.

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