It was nice to see Thief River Falls Mayor Jim Dagg mention their involvement in the MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities) project and impact technology has had in the area in his recent interview with Mayors and Cities Magazine…
How did you become involved with the Intelligent Community Forum?
We became involved through our Community Development Director and his application for grant funds for the C.K. Blandin Foundation which received federal funds to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. The city has used these grant funds to implement three specific projects:
A) Creation of a Business/Technology Center at our local Chamber of Commerce building. The center is used by the local area business community for various computer classes.
B) Technology Fairs for the Novice and Advanced Users were held in 2011 and 2012 which offered various training and workshops that focused on computers and high-speed internet. The technology fairs were open to the general public and were very well received.
C) Computers for the Community project allows for disadvantaged families that complete the mandatory computer classes to receive a refurbished computer along with one year of high speed internet service at a reduced rate.
What do you think of their organization?
It’s a great thing for rural Minnesota
And have they helped Thief River Falls?
Yes, I believe they have …
How can technology improve the quality of life in TRF? And has it?
Yes, Digi key is a prime example of this. The Company is the fifth largest electronic distributor in the world. They have many web-sites in multiple languages all headquartered out of TRF. Just think you can work here and sell something to someone in China, India or Europe and within 48 to 72 hours it is on their door steps. That is just one example of making a living selling to the world while enjoying living in TRF. The Thief River Falls School District is implementing a new program during the 2013-2014 school year to provide every student from kindergarten to Grade 12 with a computer.