Local leadership matters with Broadband in the Central Woodlands

Pleased to share a letter to the editor of Kanabec County Times from Blandin President and CEO Kathy Annette…

Recently a team from Blandin Foundation visited Isle to celebrate the wrap up of our 18-month partnership with Central Woodlands (a self-defined community that spans portions of Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Pine and Aitkin counties) through the Blandin Broadband Communities program. We were deeply impressed by what we saw: a diverse group of dedicated broadband champions working together to make their community better.

The Central Woodlands Broadband Steering Committee focused on projects that enhanced online opportunities for local businesses and seniors. For example, Someday Isle, a nonprofit shop on Isle’s main street, benefited from new computers and training to help achieve their mission of providing space – physical and digital — for artists and craftspeople to sell their wares. One local artist was able to increase sales by 400 percent when he established an online presence.

Central Woodlands also improved broadband access at five township halls in the region. Wilma Township is setting up a wireless network and is looking into expanding into neighboring areas.

By working together, community volunteers from across the region have unleashed tremendous energy that will help carry out the projects beyond the life of the grants.

Local leadership matters. Blandin Foundation commends our partners on the Central Woodlands broadband team for their vision and dedication to all local residents experiencing the power of a connected community.

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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