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Montcalm County Recognized as Certified Connected Community

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Technology Action Plan and priority goals presented

Connect Michigan applauds the efforts of Montcalm County, Michigan, for achieving certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program. On Wednesday, January 18, Connect Michigan presented Montcalm County’s certification and its Technology Action Plan before the Montcalm Economic Alliance organization. The release of this plan follows months of extensive analysis of the community’s broadband and technology environment and understanding its technology goals. The Technology Action Plan gives step-by-step action items to ensure Montcalm County reaches those technology goals.

Montcalm Economic Alliance has been working with Connect Michigan, a program of Connected Nation, on the Connected Community Engagement Program over the past year. This initiative assesses the local broadband landscape, identifies connectivity gaps, and establishes technology-driven goals and objectives to increase broadband access, adoption, and use for families, organizations, and businesses throughout the community. Montcalm County joins more than sixty communities throughout the U.S. to receive certification with the Connected program, making it the nineteenth in Michigan.

“Receiving the Connected Community Award secures Montcalm County’s spot in the community and economic development arenas,” said Rob Spohr, Montcalm Economic Alliance President. “Broadband access, adoption, and use have been vitally important to our strategy to continue to move soundly into the future.”

The Montcalm County Technology Action Plan sets general, community-wide broadband connectivity goals that will support and further enhance economic development and residential quality of life. The County’s top goals from the new plan include:

Establish a Broadband Work Team to Manage the Action Plan and Address Future Broadband-Related Concerns
Work With Local Municipalities (especially more rural townships) and Broadband Providers to Improve Broadband Access
Expand Community Literacy Programs to Include Digital Literacy Training
Assess Need for Additional Public Computer Centers
Develop or Identify a Broadband Training and Awareness Program for Small and Medium Businesses
Improve the Online Presence of Government
The plan encompasses support for future broadband expansion and programs that will ensure the community maintains widespread Internet access, adoption, and use, and continues to advance its technology standing in the digital economy.

“In order to compete in the digital economy, access, adoption, and use of broadband are critical elements of development for communities,” said Eric Frederick, Executive Director for Connect Michigan. “An Internet connection opens innumerable opportunities, allowing families to pursue greater educational prospects, businesses to expand their markets, and institutions to provide global services in any community.”

For questions about the Connected Community Engagement Program in Michigan, please contact