Connect Michigan is helping communities identify their technology needs and opportunities. WMSRDC is a partner of Connect Michigan. Through this program, communities work to expand the availability, adoption, and use of technology toward creating a more productive and technology-savvy population, a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education, and more efficient government. The Connected program is comprised of four primary steps; 1) Identify community champions and gather local stakeholders, 2) Assess the local broadband/technology landscape, 3) Identify gaps and develop technology action plans, and 4) Implement projects to increase access, adoption, and use of broadband and technology and achieve Connected Certification.
Connect Michigan Community Technology Advisors typically meet with each community/county once per month for eight to fourteen months, depending on the time required to complete the assessment and planning process. While this grassroots-style of engagement is more resource intensive, it is showing results and provides the best environment for collaboration, accountability, and implementation. Connect Michigan is working in all of the 13 counties in the Region 4 Prosperity Region and is in various phases of the initiative in the different counties.