September 6, 2012 By News Report
Gloucester County, Va., a top-10 winner of the below 150,000 population category, received its 2012 Digital Counties award Sept. 4 at a meeting of county supervisors. The award was presented by Jackie Wasni of Motorola to Applications Integration Coordinator Scott Varner, who accepted it on behalf of the county and county staff.
Varner said it was a group effort, and that departments made the transition from using index cards in 2009 to a full enterprise system. "We took a bunch of old building inspectors," said Varner, "taught them how to use the product, and they embraced it."
"You even taught a 73-year old supervisor how to use the iPad," said one supervisor, who led the board in applause for the IT department. Gloucester County was also a top 10 county in the 2011 awards.
Conducted by the Center for Digital Government and the Digital Communities program — divisions of parent company e.Republic — in partnership with the National Association of Counties, the Digital Counties survey evaluates entrants on their ability to demonstrate successful outcomes through the strategic use of technology.
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.