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UMVRDC Hosts Two-Day MIRC Tour for Blandin Foundation and NTIA

by Dawn Hegland on October 20th, 2011

On September 26th and 27th, the UMVRDC hosted Blandin Foundation staff and representatives along with two Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Representatives who were in Minnesota monitoring Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) projects.

The tour began Monday night at the Lakewood Lodge in Ortonville with Vicki Oakes, EDA Coordinator, presenting an overview of the joint Ortonville School/EDA MIRC project. The project is helping local businesses create an online presence through either websites or web pages connected to the EDA website. It is one of six projects in the region that was funded by the MIRC program.

Mary Quick from the Lac qui Parle Compute Commuter shares their success stories with the group.

The tour continued on Tuesday in Madison with a firsthand look at the Lac qui Parle Computer Commuter. Pam Lehmann, EDA Executive Director, and Mary Quick, Computer Commuter Coordinator, talked about the outreach that was happening because of the Computer Commuter. The group then continued on to the Dawson/Boyd School, where Principal Keri Bergeson showed off their rehabilitated Multi-Collaboration Center; and then a stop in Appleton at Pioneer Public TV where Les Heen, General Manager, told the group how they were developing content for the PBS series “Need to Know” which will look at rural broadband challenges and opportunities.

The two-day tour ended Tuesday afternoon where the group joined a University of Minnesota Extension workshop. The workshop was to familiarize local economic development professionals with the upcoming series of broadband classes being offered throughout the region.

The tour was a success, and a great showing of projects, collaboration and the dedication our region has to furthering technology. Bernadine Joselyn, the Blandin Foundation’s Director of Public Policy and Engagement, wrote a note of thanks to the region, saying she left the tour feeling “impressed and INSPIRED!”

For more information about the region’s MIRC projects visit the MIRC page here on our website or call the UMVRDC at 320-289-1981.

Les Heen from Pioneer Public TV explains the purpose of their mini-documentary on broadband use and availability in rural areas.

From → MIRC, News

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