Blandin Broadband Communities Update Red Wing: working with kids to find good jobs at home

We spent the morning hearing about broadband projects in Red Wing. Red Wing has Gig access – they are in a different position than many other Blandin Broadband Communities. And if you want to know what a Gig can do – go upload video in real time. It’s nice.

It was great to hear about the collaboration and mentoring happening in the community due to that Gig. The sum of the actions is greater than the gig.

One comment that really struck me was the observation that broadband will bring people to a community – but good childcare will keep them there. Now how can we make broadband help that effort.

Here’s the PowerPoint from the session

And the videos

And my notes.

The vision meeting gave birth to lots of good ideas. We prioritized them using the Intelligent Rural Communities structure – getting down to the top 15 ideas.

Red Wing has Gig access through a partnership with the City of Red Wing and HBC

Tech Entrepreneur Program
Kid built an app. Sparke interest with kids. They created an ap called college bound to help match students with the right colleges for them. Built the app, built a business case for it.
Designing an app takes a long time.

Collaboration between school and community and STEAM initiatives,
Doing a tech assessment from K12 schools in area. And working on coding classes in grades 6-7.

Coder Dojo
Programming club taught by volunteers.
Using scratch and lightbox.

Everyone recognized the need for more, better branding. One keystone is a website that points everyone to the right sources in Red Wing.
Built a commnity calenar – using Timely

Several Events
Red Hot Hack
Ignite Cup
Mentoring Mondays

Live Give Save
An app that encourages retirement saving.

The technology Network
A cohort of IT folks who meet on a regular basis. Fun for them to talk about common problems.

Ideas for the Future:

  • Red Wing is a good location between the Twin Cities and Rochester.
  • Preparing our kids for good jobs is a good way to keep kids at home.
  • Draw young people with broadband BUT keep them here longer with good childcare!
  • Support for entrepreneurship is a plan for success.
  • A local recruiter is helpful – get people connected to childcare and support for spousal recruitment.
  • Make it easy to find tech jobs.

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