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.