March 04, 2012

Catching up to the insourcing wave

It is great to see insourcing opportunities getting attention in Richmond and Washington. Whether you call it insourcing or homeshoring cost differentials are making US locations more competitive and US companies are taking advantage of opportunities the global economy in ways they haven’t before.

I know I felt a bit out there a few years ago when we looked at a rural variant on insourcing that we called farmshoring. At the time there were a lot of assumptions about industry sectors we would never see again. The reality is that many of these sectors aren’t dead they’re just different. The adjustment has been painful but in a really broad sense we seem to be making it. Many rural communities are certainly making the most of these opportunities. Broadband investments have made a difference for many places but challenges in delivering skilled workers are still all too common.


About the Author

John Provo

John Provo is director of the Office of Economic Development in Outreach and International Affairs. He designs applied research and technical-assistance projects that link university and community to address economic development issues.

Provo has developed partnerships between Virginia Tech and entities in the public, private and non-profit sectors to address economic development needs. Recent accomplishments include securing more than $10 million in three large federal grants for western Virginia in training and curricular development for green jobs and health IT and in engineering technical assistance for transportation manufacturing equipment firms.

Provo also teaches in Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies. His economic development studio course directs teams of students who undertake real-life economic development projects in the region.

Provo earned his doctorate from Portland State University and his master's degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. His bachelor's degree in government is from the College of William and Mary.

Follow him on Twitter @japrovo

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