With broadband expansion opportunities continuing to be made available for communities in Kandiyohi County, Connie Schmoll, who has been working on a contract basis for the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission since May 2021, doesn’t want to leave her job undone.
“It has been my honor and privilege to continue working on broadband,” Schmoll said. “It is a necessary infrastructure and it is needed to continue economic development.”
The EDC’s Joint Operations Board agreed at its meeting Thursday to extend Schmoll’s contract for an additional three months, until the end of March. The contract extension will cost the EDC approximately $9,100.
“I think this is worth every dime,” said Aaron Backman, EDC executive director.
I’m sharing this for several reasons. First, to congratulate Connie, who does a great job. Second, because it’s important to recognize that being a broadband advocate can, and probably should be, a paid position. Some communities are lucky and they have engaged providers. Where that isn’t the case, the community benefits greatly from an engaged leader who looks into the options, who works with policymakers and educates the residents. An investment in a broadband leader is an investment in the community, especially as more funding is bring invested in broadband deployment.