Outsourcing American manufacturing jobs to other countries was a major theme in the industry circa 2001. In fact, outsourcing to China actually cost the U.S. 3.2 million jobs from 2001-2013. According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, three quarters of those jobs were in manufacturing. That’s no small number, and it significantly impacted the economy in ways that we’re still trying valiantly to recover from.
However, a Nebraska company is “sourcing” in a different direction: Rural sourcing means outsourcing work not overseas to China or to large cities, but to smaller towns and cities in locales like Nebraska. Loup City native Paul Eurek founded a global software development company, Xpanxion, in 1990 out of a headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia. As Xpanxion began to grow and thrive, Eurek searched for ways to outsource work not to their offshore office in Pune, India, but to a different location: one without time-zone differences, contrasting cultures, high turnover, and language barriers that could negatively impact Xpanxion’s clients.
Thus the Rural Sourcing Project was born from a Nebraska man’s idea that outsourced services could be performed from any location in the world. He brought the project back to his home state.
If these offshore services can be performed from anywhere, why not choose to locate them in a place with a low cost of living, high quality of life, and a proximity to nearly any U.S. city with a quick plane flight? A rural location fits the bill for all of these requirements, so Eurek’s mission became bringing high-level talent back to rural areas of Nebraska. As he began to do so, Xpanxion’s customer service grew and thrived, and their business expanded exponentially. This month, the company announced that they’re taking rural sourcing one step further by becoming the first to locate in Tech oNE Crossing Tech Park in northeast Kearney.
“We’ve been very proud of the people we’ve been able to hire in Kearney and the work we’ve been able to do nationwide,” Eurek said. “Having a state-of-the-art facility will make a big difference to the potential clients that we bring to Kearney.” Moving Xpanxion’s offices to the tech park is no small commitment as the project will cost an estimated $3 million dollars.
However, the technology company will also be responsible for creating 29 new full-time positions over three years, with a minimum salary of $12/hour each. Currently, Xpanxion employs around 90 people in Nebraska to work with clients such as Sony Entertainment, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Honda Motor Co., and more.
By bringing new jobs to Nebraska, as opposed to an offshore partner, Xpanxion can create high-level jobs in rural areas, employ Nebraskans looking for work, and provide a high quality of life for all of its Nebraska employees. Is rural sourcing the answer to bringing jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math back to the United States? With a success story like this one, it seems as if that could certainly be the case.
Congratulations to Xpanxion on their new facilities. We’re looking forward to seeing how they implement rural sourcing to bring jobs back to the Midwest!
Photo credit: Xpanxion