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WSU Program Wins National Award for Leading Telework Efforts in Higher Education

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University’s Program for Digital Initiatives has received a national leadership award for excellence in promoting, researching and creating resources that have helped hundreds of employers with telework support since 1989.

Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership focused on demonstrating the tangible value of telework, announced the recipients of its 2011 Tele-Vision Awards this week in Washington, D.C. According to the organization’s Web site, telework is any arrangement in which an employee regularly performs officially assigned duties at home or other work sites geographically convenient to the employee’s residence.

In its early years, PDI conducted one of the first telework research projects in the country, the Puget Sound Telecommuting Demonstration. From 1989-2000, telework support included promotion, research, training, and policy and program development primarily for urban employers. Partnerships with private, nonprofit and public organizations led to the creation of telework resources that remain the standard for formal telework programs since that time. In 2000, PDI shifted focus to telework as a rural economic development strategy. Today, the program supports urban and rural telework advancement through direct services, training and collaboration with a wide range of external partners.

Other recent PDI activities include:

  • Providing telework expertise to the Kitsap (Wash.) Telework Pilot Project.
  • Supporting the Washington Department of Social and Health Services Economic Services Administration Telework Program.
  • Serving as a telework expert on the legislatively mandated Commute Trip Reduction Plan update committee.
  • Assisting with revisions to Washington state government telework guidelines.
  • Administering a national telework survey about state government telework programs to 19 states.
  • Consulting with the Thurston Regional Planning Council project to increase Thurston County (Wash.) employers’ telework/flexible schedule use and to develop a feasibility study regarding rural telework centers.

“The telework expertise gained by PDI over the years has allowed us to become a point of reference for telework concerns and activities across the country,” said PDI Senior Associate Monica Babine. “It’s an honor to have WSU’s long-term telework efforts recognized with this first Telework Leadership in Higher Learning Award.”

Housed in WSU’s Division of Governmental Studies and Services, PDI is sponsored by WSU Extension and the College of Liberal Arts. For more information, call Monica Babine in Kirkland, (425) 827-8015, email her at, or visit


Media Contacts

Monica Babine, Senior Associate, (425) 827-8015