Otter Tail County Strut Your Stuff: zoom rooms, tech packs – getting people connecting during COVID

Today we met up with the Otter Tail County BBC team. They updated us with how their broadband adoption programs are going. A quick reminder, BBC is a Blandin program that has been helping communities use technology wisely for years through focused grant opportunities and broadband coaching with Bill Coleman. Otter Tail started their journey in 2020, which means they were one of the inaugural all-online communities. So it was even more inspiring to hear what they accomplished and how they did it.

One presenter really summed up the program in the last year, “During this last year especially, broadband has meant connection. And connection is essential right now.”

Here’s a list of the Projects:

  1. Free Wi-Fi in selected locations around county: deploy Wi-Fi hotspots around the county
  2. Zoom rooms at libraries, community centers, etc: deploy several rooms throughout the county where people can participate in meetings or interview for jobs, and more.
  3. Tech packs: Free laptops and hotspots for individuals who qualify, with an emphasis on those seeking employment.
  4. Youth exposure to technology: collaboration between local schools and MState to increase youth access to coding and provide exposure to tech careers.
  5. Marketing to recruit high-tech companies and teleworkers: diversify the local economy by recruiting tech companies and teleworkers to the County.

You can check out the video and PPT below:

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