Nobles County BBC Update: Digital Literacy classes for individual and businesses, feasibility study and hotspots

KarlSamp2Thanks to Karl Samp for the update on BBC Community, Nobles County…

All projects moving well with the exception of the MnWest Digital Literacy class, which has been approved and was open for registration this Summer but they had half the registrants  cancel so they are holding the class in the Fall Semester.

Sounds like there might be opportunities for Nobles County to work with Martin County to open up classes to students there and save Martin County from recreating the class.

Classes well received at Community Ed/Market Smarter, and NCIC, which has delivered classes in three languages- Lao, Spanish, and Karen. More will be delivered as part of sustaining efforts for all. BAC hopes to have new equipment in place for their teleconferencing center and tenant use. One problem (if it can be called that) is that one of the major tenants, BioVerse, has moved into their own larger space in the adjoining Industrial Park, so they may need to wait for another tenant to share the monthly service fee, or else the City of Worthington would have to absorb that cost.

An agreement with providers has been made to trench fiber into the BAC, and Industrial Park, in exchange for a service contract over a period of time.

Seven WiFi Hot Spots are in place through MVTV. Two are left to do, with one community declining participation to date, and another still looking for a host location. Good results.

The MyOn digital Library project is moving forward. The Library has all equipment on order for their project. Preschool use strong, but Adult Basic Education use is even stronger. Most of the books are nonfiction so can be not only used to increase ESL learning, but also American History and culture education.

New projects will be a community education Class for helping their downtown businesses with succession planning. There is a transformation taking place with older more traditional businesses being replaced by new culturally specific businesses. Just across from the County Admin. Bldg, is an Asian Market, a Mexican Market, and a Mexican Restaurant. They want to help these transitions go better with business planning and Market Smarter classes, along with more digital marketing assistance.

Another new project is a feasibility study of creating a data center and emergency management/public safety center to be located in the Nobles County Administration Building where the former jail was located. The rooms are extremely secure, and built to withstand a class 5 tornado. The study will gauge the interest from 9 or more surrounding counties, plus their cities and townships of participation. Verbal interest is strong. They also need to explore redundancy in fiber as there is only one feed at this time.

Finally, Round Lake may be applying for laptops for their Community Center. They have had to borrow them for their classes, which has been maxed out. Mostly will be used for senior training, but can also be used for student use, and business classes.

They need a few more survey results to validate their feasibility study report so are working to get those. The report will be ready soon, and they hope to move on DEED B to B funding to expand services.

This entry was posted in bbc, Blandin Foundation, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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