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Nobles County awarded broadband grants

GRAND RAPIDS - Blandin Foundation announced Wednesday that it has awarded 13 grants totaling $132,670 to assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed internet access and use in their communities.Blandin Foundation Community Broadban...

GRAND RAPIDS – Blandin Foundation announced Wednesday that it has awarded 13 grants totaling $132,670 to assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed internet access and use in their communities.
Blandin Foundation Community Broadband grants totalling $23,600 will support three local projects:

  • Changing Main Street through Technology and Education: “This grant from Blandin Foundation will enable Community Education to plan and implement educational opportunities designed to help existing business owners with succession planning and prospective business owners with business planning,” said Sharon Johnson, ISD 518 Community Education Director. “We will collaborate with other local organizations such as the Worthington Chamber of Commerce to maximize the impact of this project. Our goal is to help Worthington remain a vibrant community with thriving businesses.”

  • Technology Education for Round Lake: Providing opportunities to the Round Lake area to develop computer and technology skills by supplying laptops for the Round Lake Community Center.

  • Regional Data Center Vision: “This grant will hopefully lead to an incredible opportunity,” said Tom Johnson, Nobles County Administrator. “Nobles County has some space that has little practical use for typical county operations anymore. Because we are a governmental entity, we hope to partner with many regional governmental agencies to create a small, very safe and secure data center. We know electronic data is how we are doing business now and into the future, and most government agencies need the ability to maintain system up-time and data accuracy as close to 100 percent as possible to serve our citizens well.”

Nobles County was named one of 10 Blandin Broadband communities across rural Minnesota in November 2014. Since then, the county has convened a leadership team and engaged the community in projects to make the best use of information and services that broadband can deliver.
“For rural communities to thrive in a digitally-connected world, all hands need to be on deck,” said Kathleen Annette, president and CEO of Blandin Foundation. “We are thrilled to see so many leaders in Nobles County coming together to bring home the benefits of broadband for every community member.”
Nobles County is a Blandin Broadband Community for the next two years. It be eligible to seek additional funding again in 2018.

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