Updated Matrix of Blandin Broadband Community Projects

Every year Blandin updates a list of Blandin-funded projects. It’s a fun list if you’re trying to brainstorm ideas for your own community. Here’s an abridged list:

  • Austin Area – Focus Groups with Traditionally Underrepresented Populations – Better understand the technology needs of diverse groups in the Austin Area by hosting a series of focus groups with underrepresented groups, including but not limited to senior citizens, non-English language speakers, and individuals with disabilities and their caregivers.
  • Austin Area –  Translation Software – Bridge the communication gap in the Austin Area through the use of translation software. Austin Public Schools currently serves families representing 45 home languages, and nearly 50% of students identify as a member of an ethnic minority. Translation assistance is needed throughout the community.
  • Austin Area – Public Access Privacy Rooms – Facilitate access to and use of technology through the creation of at least three “Zoom Rooms” strategically placed around the city that people can use to conduct private business including job interviews, parent-teacher meetings, medical appointments, etc.
  • Austin Area – Digital Literacy Training – Build digital literacy skills around the community by hosting digital literacy training classes. Targeted populations include the elderly, ESL families, and people wanting to improve their work skills. Austin Area Development Corporation of Austin Small Business Resiliency Through Technology Help small businesses innovate, update, and flourish by promoting the availability of Mower County’s micro-grant program. Participating small businesses will receive a technology assessment to pinpoint resiliency gaps in operations, marketing, or online presence, and have access to matching grants to address issues.
  • Austin Area – Community Tree Nursery – Promote the creative application of technology and address environmental justice by designing and constructing a gravel bed tree nursery to grow trees to augment loss associated with aging and dying trees throughout the community. The nursery will be used as an educational tool through videos, photos, and articles shared online.
  • Austin Area – Affordable Connectivity Program Promotion – Connect qualifying families to affordable internet service by promoting the Affordable Connectivity Program through various community engagement efforts, including assisting them with the application process.
  • Big Stone County – Smart Rooms – Expand technology access around the county by creating four Smart Rooms in four communities that residents can use for remote meetings, trainings, and connect with friends and family.
  • Big Stone County – Lakeside Apartment – Broadband Access Improve educational and career opportunities by ensuring low-income residents in public housing have access to computers and the internet. The project will expand Wi-Fi to the common areas of Lakeside Apartments for both building residents and residents of other public housing units in Ortonville.
  • Big Stone County – Assistance for Veterans – Increase access to educational opportunities and support services among veterans by offering technical literacy training.
  • Big Stone County – Training for Small Businesses and Organizations – Increase the sophistication of use of broadband to help small businesses and organizations, with a special emphasis on artists, sell and market their products and services.
  • Lincoln County – “At Home in Lincoln County” Website – Promote and market Lincoln County to residents and visitors by expanding the current countywide website to include a comprehensive overview of the county’s communities, resources for residents and visitors, business information, and events and activities.
  • Lincoln County – Ivanhoe Broadband Community Survey – Determine Ivanhoe residents’ satisfaction with current broadband offerings and gauge interest in a potential fiber optic network by conducting a community broadband survey.
  • Lincoln County – Public Wi-Fi – Access Increase access to the internet by providing public Wi-Fi access at parks and other spots where people gather around the county.
  • Lincoln County – Internet Safety Programs – Educate parents, students, and community members on internet safety by conducting training programs on Social Media Safety and Internet Fraud and Scams.
  • Mahnomen County – Conference Room Tech Upgrades – Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of community meetings by upgrading technology in the Mahnomen City Hall conference room, allowing them to host virtual meetings. The room will continue to be available to various community organizations.
  • Mahnomen County – Youth Asset Map – Build new technology knowledge and skills among youth in 4-6 th grades by conducting workshops where students will create 3-5 informational QR spots around Mahnomen educating visitors about attractions and traditions.
  • Mahnomen County – Food Shelf Computers and Inventory Software – Improve the efficiency of Helping Hands Food Shelf and improve access to food for community members by providing a computer and implementing a software program to track inventory and use, including allowing clients to pre-order food.
  • Mahnomen County – Library Technology – Upgrade Increase library-users’ access to technology through the purchase of a new machine capable of color printing, copying, scanning, and faxing.
  • Mahnomen County – Co-Working Services Launch – Provide support and services for entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing free access for two years to the co-working space for White Earth Nation tribal members and other qualifying Mahnomen County entrepreneurs.
This entry was posted in bbc, Broadband Applications, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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