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Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 6:35am

'Rural Sourcing' Takes Root In Ga.

Some jobs that have been outsourced overseas are returning to U.S. shores. A new trend known as ‘rural sourcing’ is beginning to take root - including in Georgia.

The term applies to companies placing some jobs - typically information technology or call center work - in small cities and towns in the U.S. Costs to companies are lower there than in bigger cities, and they’re closer to what’s spent overseas.

Monty Hamilton is CEO of Rural Sourcing Inc., which connects companies with workers in smaller population areas (75-K to 150-K) in Georgia, North Carolina and Arkansas. He says half of companies that have been sending jobs to overseas locations like India and China, are not happy with what they’re getting.

“It’s just a huge opportunity to bring a work segment that we have today in the U.S. to that work. Leveraging the same tools and technologies that India has done so well in attracting its business.”

Hamilton says outsourcing is a $250 billion industry, and returning a third of that to the U.S. could mean a million jobs. He says the 'rural sourcing' industry has experienced growth of 200-300% in the last couple of years.

Hamilton’s company employs 20 people in IT jobs at its new Augusta location. He expects that number to grow to at least 100 in another couple of years.