Google brings workshops for entrepreneurs to St. Cloud

St Cloud Times reports…

Google will be coming to St. Cloud next week with a day of workshops for local entrepreneurs.

On Friday, Oct. 18, Google will partner with Great River Regional Library, 1300 W. St. Germain St., to house workshops from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The event is part of the company’s Grow with Google initiative, which aims to create economic opportunities across the U.S., according to a press release.

Google staff will teach workshops aimed to provide resources for community members to grow businesses and find jobs, according to the release. Attendees can learn skills ranging from how to set up email accounts to ways to advertise their business.

“Great River Regional Library is excited to bring this opportunity, Grow with Google, to Central Minnesota,” said Karen Pundsack, executive director of Great River Regional Library, in a press release.

There is no cost, and attendees can pre-register for workshops or drop in and sign up for individual 20-minute training sessions with Google staff.

“Many job seekers in our community are looking for their next opportunity. We’ll have a class to connect them with new ways to build their digital skills,” Pundsack said.

To register, visit Space will be limited. 

I attended what sounds like similar training in Minneapolis a few years ago. I think it was time well spent and would be even better time well spent if you weren’t at all uncomfortable with the technology.

OPPORTUNITY: Aspirations in Computing Awards for Young Women deadline Nov 5

From MN State IT Center for Excellence, and a great opportunity for the right person…

NCWIT is accepting applications for the 2020 Aspirations in Computing Awards. Young women from Minnesota’s high schools with computing related interests are highly encouraged to apply. Application opens September 1st and closes November 5th.

Award for AiC recipients are chosen for their demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post‑secondary education. To date, nearly 8,600 women have been honored with the Award. The NCWIT Award for AiC is sponsored by Apple, Bank of America, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, and Symantec. MNAiC partners with over 50 businesses to support a year-round talent development program that for many students culminates in being selected as an award honoree. Since 2013, Minnesota has benefited from 313 State Honorees and 40 National Honorees.

We’re inviting high school educators across the state to advocate for young women in computing by generating awareness of the program within their classrooms and schools. The awards program and complementary MNAiC offerings provide an ecosystem of support for young women with computing interests.  In 2019, 82 Minnesota students and 2 educators were selected as honorees.

FCC Setting Up Precision Agriculture Task Force

Borrowing the summary from the Benton Foundation

The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) intends to establish a Federal Advisory Committee, known as the ‘‘Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States.” The FCC intends to establish the charter on or before December 19, 2019, providing the Task Force with authorization to operate for two years. In consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, and in collaboration with public and private stakeholders in the agriculture and technology fields, the purpose of the Task Force is to:

  • Identify and measure current gaps in the availability of broadband internet access service on agricultural land; develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband internet access service on unserved agricultural land, with a goal of achieving reliable capabilities on 95 percent of agricultural land in the United States by 2025;
  • promote effective policy and regulatory solutions that encourage the adoption of broadband internet access service on farms and ranches and promote precision agriculture; recommend specific new rules or amendments to existing rules of the FCC that the Commission should issue to achieve the goals and purposes of the policy recommendations described in the second bullet in this list;
  • recommend specific steps that the FCC should take to obtain reliable and standardized data measurements of the availability of broadband internet access service as may be necessary to target funding support, from future programs of the Commission dedicated to the deployment of broadband internet access service, to unserved agricultural land in need of broadband internet access service; and
  • recommend specific steps that the FCC should consider to ensure that the expertise of the Secretary and available farm data are reflected in future programs of the Commission dedicated to the infrastructure deployment of broadband internet access service and to direct available funding to unserved agricultural land where needed.

I’ll keep an eye out for any opportunity to apply, although this may be appointed. The Federal Register does list contact info for more info.


Opportunity: start a Girls Who Code Club in your area

I saw this opportunity in the MN State Library Services newsletter. I’m not sure if it’s only for libraries but if you’re not a library, this is a really good opportunity to partner with one…

State Library Services is partnering with Girls Who Code (GWC) this year to bring free computer science learning opportunities to your community. Girls Who Code Clubs are free after-school programs for girls in grades 3-5 or 6-12. Participants will join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world. Please note, this program targets, but is not limited to, girls. Participants not only learn hard coding skills and computational thinking, but they’ll also learn project management skills, collaboration, bravery, resilience, how to positively impact their community, and so much more.

When you start a GWC Club, you’ll gain access to free resources, flexible plug-and-play curriculum, funding opportunities, ongoing support, alumni opportunities for your young learners, and more! There’s no computer science experience needed to get started; GWC is there for you every step of the way. Apply now with the brief Clubs Application through our partnership, or learn more about the program at the next live 30-minute webinar! Webinars are scheduled weekly Sept. through Nov. 2019.

OPPORTUNITY: Contract to construct a Dakota County area fiber optic system

A great opportunity for someone…

Dakota County Area Fiber Optic Network

175th Street Lakeville& Ipava Avenue/Fire Station 3 Project

Dakota County seeks bids for the purpose of securing a contract to construct a Dakota County area fiber optic system project for the 175th Street Lakeville& Ipava Avenue/Fire Station 3 Project within Dakota County.

BIDS DUE:            October 18th, 2019 by 2:00 PM CDT


Dakota County Information Technology Department

Attention: Dan Ferber

1590 Highway 55

Hastings, Minnesota 55033



Dakota County Administration Center

Taxpayer Services Window – First Floor

1590 Highway 55

Hastings, Minnesota 55033



Tuesday, September 24, 2019 AT 2:00 PM

Dakota County Administration Center

Conference Room 1A

1590 Highway 55,

Hastings, Minnesota 55033

Request for bidmore detail

Online emotional wellness course available to MN high school students – for credit!

TIPP News Daily reports…

Two Minnesota education organizations are combining forces in an effort to battle the student mental health crisis by offering an innovative online course with embedded daily coaching. Minnesota Virtual Schools has contracted with EmpowerU LLC to offer this credit-bearing social-emotional wellness course to any Minnesota high school student as part of their regular school day – for no additional fee.

The course, EmpowerU, creates a time and place each day for students to learn vital resilience skills and strategies that will help them improve their mental health.

  • The telehealth-meets-online course was developed by a team of therapists for adolescents with social-emotional obstacles, such as anxiety, depression and negative self-esteem.
  • The course is delivered via daily 30-minute lessons that are customized to each student’s unique needs by licensed instructors that give daily feedback via the 1:1 portal.
  • Each of the six units integrates neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy, and strengths-based strategies that engage students as active participants in the course.
  • Students make significant progress toward their goals through healthy habit change, helping them feel less anxious and improve emotional well-being.

I have three teenage daughters. I think this is so smart. (Maybe they could offer help for the parents too!) Here’s more info on registering…

Any Minnesota high school student that has an open period in their school day can enroll in EmpowerU at no additional cost for a semester credit through Minnesota Virtual.

Click here to enroll or call Lorelei Lorentz, Coordinator of Part-Time Students Minnesota Virtual Schools at 612-524-5213 with questions:

For more information click here:

Digital Inclusion grant opportunity for libraries: deadline Dec 20, 2019

I’d love to see Minnesota libraries apply…

Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries

December 02, 2019

Application: FY 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF 399KB)
Grant Amount: $10,000–$50,000
Grant Period: Two years
Cost Share Requirement: None

Program Overview:
Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries (APP) is a special initiative of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program. The goal of this initiative is to support projects that strengthen the ability of small and/or rural libraries and archives to serve their communities and to build grantee capacity through participation in a community of practice. IMLS invites applications that focus on the following topics:

  • transforming school library practice
  • community memory
  • digital inclusion

There’s a webinar next week for more info:

We invite you to participate in a pre-application webinar to learn more about the program and ask questions.

  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:00-4:00 PM Eastern