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Free Broadband Development Classes for Louisiana Communities



September 3, 2013 By

The state of Louisiana has engaged the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) to help cities, towns and parishes use broadband technology to improve economic opportunity.

ICF will conduct two-day master classes in Natchitoches on Sept. 27 and Lafayette on Oct. 11. Each ICF workshop mixes tutorials and case studies with interactive discussions centered on proven actions that will improve a community’s economic future.

The free ICF classes have been made possible through a grant from the Louisiana Division of Administration’s Office of Information Technology and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Following the workshops, seven Louisiana communities will be selected to participate in the ICF’s self-test program and will receive an analysis and individualized reports at no cost. ICF will report back to the selected communities on how well they perform. 

The self-test addresses the five intelligent community indicators:

  • Broadband: household penetration rate and policies and programs to increase use.
  • Knowledge Workforce: digital educational skills, student-to-PC ratio in schools, and availability of higher education.
  • Innovation: policies encouraging business startups, business incubation, interactivity on municipal websites, and availability of seed capital, grants and loans.
  • Digital Inclusion: Internet availability, public-access computers, and digital literacy training for adults.
  • Marketing & Advocacy: an economic development strategy with effective marketing to share the community’s story with the world, while advocacy builds a new vision of the community from within.

Additionally, three communities will be selected for mentoring by ICF to prepare them to submit applications to the annual Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program, if they chose to do so.

To attend the ICF master classes or to request information, contact Diana Simek, vice-president of economic development for the Coordinating and Development Corporation at (318) 632-2022 or dsimek@cdconline.org.


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