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HARBOR Inc. Becomes A Connected Certified Community

Harbor Springs, MI. (August 22, 2014) – HARBOR, Inc. has become a “Connected” certified community under Connected Nation’s Connected community engagement program. The event took place today at Harbor Springs High School where the results from the assessment and future plans for broadband expansion were unveiled.

HARBOR, Inc. is the tenth Michigan community, and twenty-fourth in the nation, to receive this recognition under Connected Nation’s Connected community engagement program. Charlevoix County became the first certified community, nationally, exactly two years ago.

“HARBOR, Inc. has brought together a diverse group of organizations, municipalities, community members, and service providers to address the regional issue of broadband availability and its use,” said HARBOR, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Smolinski. “We have made great progress through the efforts of our team and the support of Connect Michigan, but we have more work to do.”

HARBOR, Inc. Broadband Team

Joining in today’s commemoration of HARBOR, Inc.’s accomplishments included HARBOR, Inc. Chairperson, Kathryn Breighner, Harbor Springs Public School Superintendent Mark Tompkins, Suttons Bay Public Schools Superintendent, Chris Nelson, Cross Village Township Supervisor Gene Reck, Emmet County Director of Planning and Zoning, Tammy Doernenburg, Michigan Public Service Commission, Director of Telecommunications, Robin Alcona, and others at the Harbor Springs High School Performing Arts Center. The event included a tour of Harbor Springs school facilities to demonstrate achievements that the school district made in enhancing the use of digital technology in the classroom and supporting the use of technology within the community.

“We are honored that Connect Michigan has recognized HARBOR, Inc. for its program to make broadband more available in our area,” said HARBOR, Inc. Chairperson Kathie Breighner. “Without Connect Michigan we would not have the script, tools, or steps to make this happen. Because we engaged in this, the service providers paid attention to us and have upped their game in providing services to our community.”

HARBOR, Inc. will conduct a Technology Summit this fall to continue its efforts to increase awareness and provide education to increase broadband access, adoption, and usage in Emmet County.

This fall, Connect Michigan, in conjunction with the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition, is gearing up to host the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference.

The event will be held on October 29, 2014, at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing, and will bring together community leaders from education, libraries, economic development, local government, healthcare, and technology sectors to share and learn best practices for expanding broadband access, adoption, and use throughout the Great Lakes State and region.