August 29, 2008 By Casey Mayville
Photo: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced this morning that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be his running mate.
Elected governor in 2006, Palin became Alaska's first female governor, as well as its youngest. She will be the first politician from Alaska to run on a national ticket in a campaign for vice president.
Palin has made efforts to expand the use of technology in Alaska. In 2007, Palin announced a new online training program for workforce development. The Work Ready/College Ready program helped to assess skills and offered training courses.
"The skills needed to enter many vocations are similar to the skills needed to get into college," explained Palin at the time. "Work Ready/College Ready lets students know what level of skill they need for the occupations they're interested in, how well they match up in those skill levels and it provides training to reach their goals."
Later, in 2008, Palin introduced the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act, which aimed to help Alaskans to access more affordable health care. It established a health care information office that would provide consumers factual information on quality, cost and other important matters to help them make more informed decisions about health care.
Most recently, efforts are being made to enhance health care delivery to Alaska's native people through telemedicine and telehealth. Residents who live in rural areas will have better and timely access to critical care through medical specialists, such as cardiology, pediatrics and radiology.
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.