Update on UMN Broadband Access Program

Insight News posted an update on the ARRA-funded Broadband Access Program run by the University of Minnesota. (As you may recall, they received about $3 million to address broadband adoption in the Twin Cities through improved computer centers and broadband training and internships.)

I always enjoy reading about the Minnesota-based ARRA-funded projects, but I especially enjoy reading about them in non-techie publications – because it helps highlight for me what the rest of the world thinks and cares about the projects. This article focused on the role of the Hmong American Partnership (HAP). It’s really a case of bringing broadband to where the people are.

HAP already provides a range of services, the quick paragraph below describes a few of the services:

Lee [Sheng Lee – Employment Services Manager in St Paul and Director of Economic Development & Housing at HAP in North Minneapolis], explaining the role of HAP’s Employment Services, said, “We help them with job searching and find job leads for our clients. We work to help participants keep their jobs once they become employed. We also work with people in the neighborhood looking for assistance. They receive training with updating resumes, or use computers to look for jobs online and submit applications. All the people we serve are low income. A lot of times their education levels are low, too. When you throw in people who speak another language, that doubles the amount of time it takes for us to work with one person.”

The Economic Development & Housing program provides three types of services; pre-purchase counseling, foreclosure counseling and rental counseling. Pre-purchase counseling is for first time homebuyers.

They also provide educational support – from afterschool programs to English language and civics education for all ages.

The article points out the role of broadband…

The Broadband Access Project is a significant addition to HAP’s programming. BAP allows HAP to work with all Eastside and North Minneapolis residents by offering open computer lab time and additional Internet based trainings.

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, Digital Divide, MN and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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