November 15, 2010 By Wayne Hanson
Dona Ana County, N.M. -- Named after Doña Ana Robledo -- has a history of Spanish exploration and settlement going back to 1536. People later crossed the region as they traveled between Mexico City and Santa Fe.
The county has in recent years embraced information technology to provide up-to-date efficiency and service to its 230,000 residents and to meet some substantial economic challenges, including 8 percent across-the-board funding cuts, a three-year salary freeze, elimination of all non-mandated travel and training.
As testimony to the idea that difficult times often produce innovation, here are some highlights of the county's improvements and changes which garnered a top finish in the 2010 Digital Counties Survey:
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.