Every year, the Blandin on Broadband blog does County Broadband Profiles (and will do again when the new maps come out) but given federal opportunities are making it possible to get funding for access and adoption, I thought I’d try to present information for counties to assess their digital equity standing (see table below) and give options for who to contact locally for more information.
Goodhue County ranks 11 out of 87 counties for digital equity. Goodhue County is home with Red Wing and Red Wing Ignite, which is part of an international movement to encourage use of high speed broadband. They would make good partners in the area. It looks like the individual tracts below indicate that computer ownership, poverty and advanced education are areas might make for a compelling investment.
Scroll down for details and suggested resources for more information.
Blandin Foundation is using the Microsoft Digital Equity Tool to determine needs by county and make high level recommendations for next steps to consider based on the data. (With special thanks to Carter Grupp, Broadband Coordinator Broadband Coordinator at American Connection Project for Otter Tail County.) Visit the tool if you want to look up more statistics on your community.
Demographic Data and Ranking (out of 87)
|Access to 100/20||22|
|No HS degree||15|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||18|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||28|
|No broadband access||14|
The map below shows digital inequity by census tract. The bluer the better; yellow and orange colors indicate more inequity. This map can be helpful in figuring out which parts of your county need the most help.
So where do you go to talk to people in the county about digit equity plans? Good places to start include:
- Cannon Falls Area Schools (ISD #252)
Superintendent Jeff Sampson
- Goodhue School District (ISD #253)
Superintendent Evan Gough
- Kenyon-Wanamingo School District (ISD #2172)
Superintendent Bryan Boysen
- Pine Island School District (ISD #255)
Superintendent Dr. Tamara Champa
- Red Wing Public Schools (ISD #256)
Interim Superintendent Frank Norton
There’s a lot to take in but sometimes it’s also helpful to see what a community has done in the past, so we’ve gathered specific projects funded through the Blandin Foundation:
|Project Owner||Project Name||Description|
|Red Wing Ignite||Innovation to Reality||Project support to facilitate and host community-based activities that will create and support a culture of innovation within Red Wing|
|Red Wing Ignite||Marketing of Red Wing||Project support to create opportunity by branding and marketing Red Wing to attract people, talent and investment|
|Red Wing Ignite||Marketing Red Wing in 2016||Project support for a unified marketing and branding initiative across all key stakeholder organizations in Red Wing|
|Red Wing Ignite||Preparing our Next Generation||Project support to engage community youth in technology skills and discover opportunities within Red Wing for employment and entrepreneurship|
|Red Wing Ignite||Preparing our Next Generation Part II||Project support for the second phase of the Preparing Our Next Generation project (described above)|
|Red Wing Ignite||STEAM in our Schools||Project support to strengthen Red Wing School District’s STEAM education by facilitating community partnerships with existing Red Wing technology-oriented companies|
|Red Wing Ignite||Technology Networks to Build Local Ecosystem||Project support to convene a regional network of IT professionals, improve and promote the co-working spaces at the innovation center, and host regular gatherings of entrepreneurs, startups and others to network and learn.|
There’s a lot to take in but sometimes it’s also helpful to see what a community has done in the past, so we’ve gathered specific projects funded through the Blandin Foundation. (Goodhue communities participated in multiple Blandin cohorts):
|Project Owner||Project Name||Description|
|Cannon Falls EDA||Cannon Falls Local Foods Initiative||Project support to define, develop and position a brand that promotes Cannon Falls as the local food capital of Minnesota emphasizing the recreational, scenic, and healthy living assets of the community.|
|Cannon Falls EDA||Digital Marketing for Businesses||Project support to promote local business growth and marketing through the use of broadband and technology, including digital marketing, social media, and SEO strategy.|
|Cannon Rivers & The Gardens senior care centers||Wellness VR||Project support to promote wellness, stress reduction, and technology use among older adults through the purchase of four virtual reality headsets and virtual field trip subscriptions for use at the Cannon Rivers and The Gardens senior care centers.|
|Cannon Falls Elementary School||“The Candle” Online Newsletter||Project support to reignite the elementary school newspaper and engage students in its production through content development, design, editing, and distribution.|