Business & Society

USU Extension to Offer Free Professional Tech Sales Training in Partnership With Marketstar

By Shelby Ruud Jarman |

Utah State University Extension recently received a $500,000 grant to fund a two-year program that trains rural Utah residents as technology sales professionals who can work remotely for MarketStar, a Utah-based leader in the outsourced business-to-business inside sales industry.

The Utah Works Grant is awarded through Talent Ready Utah, housed within the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. Talent Ready Utah works closely with industry and education to develop workforce development solutions that build Utah’s talent pool by providing increased access to career and educational opportunities in high-growth industries that result in career placements.

“The Utah Legislature graciously provided appropriations to Utah Works — a program that increases partnerships between businesses and the Utah System of Higher Education to provide short-term technical skills training to fill high-demand positions,” said Vic Hockett, director of Talent Ready Utah. “MarketStar is a visionary organization that is growing rapidly. We are excited for the lives that will be changed through this expert-designed training offered by USU Extension to directly fill tech occupations.”

The grant will fund a new 45-hour Certified Technology Sales Professional training program, offered free of charge through USU Extension. It will prepare rural residents across the state to work as remote sales representatives for MarketStar, headquartered in Ogden. The program guarantees an interview with MarketStar after completing the training course.

“We are excited to partner with USU Extension to develop the new Certified Technology Sales Professional Certification,” said Justin Nalder, executive vice president of corporate operations for MarketStar. “There are more than 750,000 new inside sales jobs created in the U.S. each year, and Utah technology companies will need talented, trained sales professionals as our technology sector continues to grow and thrive. The new certificate program will connect talented people from Utah’s rural communities to high-demand sales skill training and then to some of the most interesting and contemporary brands in technology. We are truly excited to participate in developing the program and meeting the first cohort of certified graduates in 2023.”

MarketStar will hire for an estimated 1,500 positions across all tech sales, tech enablement and support roles.

“These are well-paying positions with upward mobility that will allow employees to work from home,” said Paul Hill, USU Extension professor. “We know from our research that remote jobs bring higher incomes and a greater quality of life for individuals and families in our rural communities, which in turn stimulates economic growth and diversity.”

Training will begin in January 2023 with a goal of 200 program participants over the two-year project.

“We are thrilled for this partnership with MarketStar and the opportunities it will create for economic diversity and financial mobility in our rural Utah communities,” said Ken White, USU Extension vice president.

To learn more about the Certified Tech Sales Professional course, visit

About Utah State University

Utah State University Extension provides research-based programs and resources to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities throughout Utah. USU Extension operates through a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture, USU, and county governments. Founded in 1914 as part of the Smith-Lever Act, USU Extension plays a primary role in helping USU fulfill its land-grant mission. Though more than 100 years old, USU Extension is as vital as ever, perhaps even more so, due to the increased diversity and complexity of the issues people encounter today. Integrating teaching, research, and public service enables USU Extension to respond to critical and emerging issues with research-based, unbiased information.

About MarketStar

Through outsourced customer engagement solutions, MarketStar accelerates growth from lead to recurring revenue with business-to-business (B2B) sales and customer success programs. Using a blend of voice, digital, and field engagements, MarketStar has launched, sold, and supported thousands of products and services on behalf of the biggest and most innovative companies across the globe. Founded in 1988, MarketStar pioneered the sales outsourcing industry and today has more than 1,750 employees worldwide. To learn more, visit

About the Utah System of Higher Education

The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) is governed by the Utah Board of Higher Education and is comprised of Utah’s sixteen public colleges and universities. The CEO of USHE is the Commissioner of Higher Education. Talent Ready Utah is housed within the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. For more information, visit


Shelby Ruud Jarman
College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences


Paul Hill
Extension, Washington County


Extension 450stories Utah 371stories Business 155stories Technology 137stories Career 60stories

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