Lead For America, Land O’Lakes, Inc., the Mayo Clinic, Midwest Dairy and Scoular recently announced the placement of six American Connection Corps (ACC) Fellows in Minnesota, part of a group of 50 individuals placed in communities across the country. These Fellows will work to increase broadband access and digital literacy as well as contribute to critical community development initiatives in communities across Minnesota. Lead for Minnesota Fellow Patrick Garry was chosen for placement in Redwood County to work with the county EDA on broadband access throughout the county.
Garry arrived in Redwood Falls on Aug. 9 to begin his work as Redwood County EDA Broadband Coordinator. He is not a county employee, rather his position is a contract for service, with Redwood County Economic Development Coordinator Briana Mumme as his host.
Blandin plays a role…
The Fellow position in Redwood County is also funded through the Lead for America program, Americorps, the Blandin Foundation and the Southwest Initiative Foundation.
He’s hitting the ground running…
Garry said his first initiative is a “listening tour” of the county’s communities, businesses, farmers, healthcare providers, schools and any residents interested in access to broadband, to learn more about the needs and impact in the area.
Mumme and Garry agreed that recent federal legislation to fund broadband access throughout the United States will be a valuable tool for the goals of their program. They will be working with the Redwood area internet providers to learn their vision and goals for how best to fill the gaps in broadband access.
“What motivates our group is a shared vision for what rural America can be,” said Garry. “We hope to curate collaborative environments that foster innovation and build upon our past. We realize we can only complete this goal with community support and advocacy.”