American Connection Corps featured in Government Technology for digital inclusion efforts
Access to reliable and affordable internet can unlock economic prosperity to fuel vibrant and thriving communities
By: Land O'Lakes, Inc.
This week, the American Connection Project received recognition for leading the way on digital inclusion. In an article in Government Technology, Land O’Lakes, Inc. was highlighted for our early efforts to close the digital divide.
Many digital inclusion initiatives were inspired nationwide as a result of the public health emergency. However, before the pandemic, Land O’Lakes, Inc. CEO Beth Ford saw firsthand during her listening tours across the country that access to reliable and affordable internet can unlock economic prosperity to fuel vibrant and thriving communities which inspired the American Connection Project.
To continue to build on that momentum, we were faced with an important question to address: capacity.
During an interview with Zach Quantaince of Government Technology, Land O’Lakes, Inc. VP of Rural Services Tina May explained, “We were really nervous, and we were losing sleep over rural communities with a part-time city clerk and volunteer mayor. How are they going to raise their hands and say we need help?”
Our answer: We formed the boots-on-the-ground effort of the American Connection Project known as the American Connection Corps. In partnership with Lead for America and 20 diverse partners, this program for leaders aims to boost local internet connectivity and the benefits it provides. The program embedded 50 American Connection Corps Fellows in small towns and some in urban communities across America that are underserved and unserved by reliable and affordable high-speed internet.
With these fellows working on the ground in their communities, we can seize on the opportunities for broadband expansion made possible by the recent federal funding of infrastructure investment. “As everyone turns their attention to the implementation of the infrastructure bill,” Tina May said, “Time is of the essence.”
Read more about the American Connection Corps in Government Technology here.
Interested in becoming an American Connection Corps Fellow? Apply here.