COLUMBUS — Connect Ohio has selected five Ohio communities, including Meigs County, to participate in the Connected Community Engagement Program (Connected).
The five Ohio communities selected include: City of Dayton, Fairfield County, Meigs-Vinton Progress (Meigs and Vinton Counties), Wyandot County, and Western Reserve Port Authority and Oak Hill Collaborative (Youngstown).
Each will receive a comprehensive technology assessment and innovative project plan to enhance the technology standing in today’s digital economy. The awards are part of Connect Ohio’s funding from the state of Ohio to continue advancing broadband access, adoption, and use for all Ohioans.
Connect Ohio is a program of Connected Nation, the national leader in community technology planning and data analysis. Connected Nation has compiled strategic technology plans for communities in the U.S. for more than 10 years. This work evolved into what is known as the Connected program, a community technology assessment and planning tool. Connected has led more than 300 communities across seven states in the development of their own technology plans for enhanced success.
“Building a tech-enabled community starts with a comprehensive planning effort—a solid understanding of the needs and opportunities,” said Stu Johnson, executive director for Connect Ohio and vice president for Connected Nation, Inc. “The Connected program will provide just that and directly assist these five areas of Ohio in advancing opportunity through technology.”
These communities are currently establishing a local team to champion their individual Connected projects, with leadership from staff of the Connected program. Surveys will be rolled out in each community within the next few weeks to begin gathering technology data. All residents, business owners, institutions, and parents in these communities are asked to provide input on their local survey. Projects will be completed by June and will include a one-of-a-kind assessment and Technology Action Plan with strategic insight and actionable project plan for addressing the most pressing technology challenges facing each of the five communities today.
“We are thrilled to get this kind of support from Connect Ohio, which is greatly needed here as we try to make the transition from a post-industrial community to an active participant in the knowledge economy,” said Pat Kerrigan, executive director of the Oak Hill Collaborative in Youngstown.
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