We’re pleased to roll out a new economic development tool to promote the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities – Telecommuter Forward! We know that fast, reliable broadband access improves quality of life, makes businesses more competitive, and provides career opportunities for our Greater Minnesota workforce. Friendly telecommuting policies build on those strengths by adding new potential for startup creation among rural entrepreneurs, co-working spaces that spark creativity, and new opportunities for civic engagement and collaboration.
The Telecommuter Forward! Program was presented to the Minnesota Legislature by DEED’s Broadband team last session. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Tim Walz in May.
DEED’s Office of Broadband Development is now accepting applications for Telecommuter Forward! Community certification. To become certified in the Telecommuter Forward Program, Minnesota cities, villages, towns, or counties must adopt a resolution that includes a statement of support and commitment to promote telecommuting. The Office of Broadband Development has created a model resolution to help get you started.
Since 2014, DEED has awarded over $85 million in broadband infrastructure grants to fund 110 projects across Minnesota, with the goal of border-to-border broadband access. The Telecommuter Forward! Community certification expands upon these efforts by allowing communities to promote themselves as destinations for Minnesotans interested in telecommuting.
For more information about the application process for Telecommuter Forward! certification, contact the Office of Broadband Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-259-7610.
We’re planning to recognize our first certified community in February – and there will be more information to come.
– Commissioner Steve Grove