Roni Holder-Diefenbach, SkillSource Board Chair and Executive Director of the Economic Alliance, served as a panelist at this year’s Washington Workforce Association Conference in Tacoma, WA. The panel also included Shelan Aldridge of The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, and Mando Antonino of Workforce Southwest Washington.
The focus of the panel was to address the need for increased broadband access and digital literacy at a local level, and the significant geographic and socioeconomic barriers that must be overcome to improve workforce development in these areas. The Washington State Broadband Office partnered with Washington State University Extension to establish the capacity of Broadband Actions Teams (BATs), and there is now one in every Washington county. These BATs developed a Broadband and Digital Equity Action Plan in order to provide a local framework for planning and implementing projects to expand infrastructure and ensure equitable access to the internet. Broadband Action Teams are made up of representatives from the county, cities, tribe, WSU Extension, community based organizations, small business, service providers, utilities, infrastructure owners, and community members. The panel offered recommendations and ideas for how to partner with citizens, groups, businesses, and agencies in order to fill gaps in broadband service and utilization in other counties.
To learn more about the Okanogan and Colville Confederated Tribes Broadband Action Teams, please visit economic-alliance.com.