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Commerce Grants Available for Rural Mural and Public Art Projects The Kansas Department of Commerce today announced a total of $75,000 is available for a new round of Rural Mural and Public Art program funding. The program helps rural communities design engaging new art that improves the local aesthetic – making the community more appealing not only for those who live there but for potential new businesses and residents as well. Kansas awarded nearly $1 million from USDA to assist with rural digital divide The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) has been awarded nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service through its new Broadband Technical Assistance (BTA) grant program. The $997,000 grant will fund pre-engineering design studies in six rural Kansas counties to help reduce costs and identify avoidable barriers as broadband is deployed there. Creekstone Farms Serving Premium Kansas Meats Worldwide At Creekstone Farms®, excellence is a hallmark from field to fork. Arkansas City-based Creekstone Farms® produces premium beef and pork that’s sought after by consumers across the globe, with Angus beef and Heritage Duroc pork enthusiasts worldwide finding much to love in the company’s outstanding products. 2024 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award Nominations Open Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland today announced that the Kansas Department of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2024 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award. View All

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Digital Opportunities in Kansas

The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs that promote digital equity and inclusion. They aim to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy.  We recognize that to connect all Kansans, communities must also have the ability to access, devices to use and skills to support appropriate digital use. Kansas submitted our Five – Year Strategic Plan for public comment in early October. Currently the plan is being reviewed for final approval from our federal funding partners. Once approved, we will share the final draft on the DEA plan page.

Digital Equity Plan
Digital Inclusion Week
ACP Resources
Advisory Board
Digital Equity Plan
Digital Equity Plan
Digital Inclusion Week
ACP Resources
Advisory Board

Digital Inclusion Week | October 2-6, 2023

National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has celebrated this week for eight years as an annual week of awareness, recognition, and celebration for those that work in and support the mission of access, affordability and adoption.

Kansas Office of Broadband is encouraging everyone to engage, learn, share, and support digital equity activities in your communities. We are joining our partners in this work across the country to highlight solutions for affordable internet access, appropriate devices for all, and digital skills programs.

Anytime during the week, we encourage you to use our whiteboards to write why you support or see value in digital equity and access. Take a picture and share it on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

How did we celebrate?

  • Monday, October 2: KOBD will officially released our Digital Equity Plan for Public Comment. You can view the plan here. Please note the website will translate the plan into multiple languages and you can provide comment back to KOBD in Spanish and Vietnamese.
  • Tuesday, October 3: KOBD held a webinar on the importance of Public Comment for the Digital Equity Strategic Plan.
  • Wednesday, October 4: On WinsDay we wore *teal* for Digital Inclusion Week. Take a time out and share a brief video or photo of what digital opportunities mean to you. Use the hashtags #connectingallKansans #DIW2023 #BuildingConnectedCommunities Check out the suggested social toolkit from NDIA here.
  • Thursday, October 5: KOBD participated in Topeka Shawnee County Get Digital Listening Tour at the Sunflower Foundation. This session sought to understand and address the root cause(s) and the unique barriers stalling broadband deployment and adoption at the state and local level, and digital equity, the Federal Communication Commission’s Taskforce which works to prevent Digital Discrimination.
  • Friday, October 6: KOBD invited everyone to learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program. You or someone you know may qualify for a subsidy of $30 a month towards internet service. Bonus points if you learn more and become a digital navigator. Find out more at KOBD website under “resources tab.”

Opportunities to Support

Organization Doing Digital Inclusion Work

If you’re an organization doing digital inclusion work (i.e. nonprofit, library, housing, church, etc.), consider the following activities:

  • Host/co-host an event to help people sign up for affordable internet, get a device, and/or learn some digital skills
  • Invite influencers/leaders/elected officials to your event
  • Create a press release/media advisory about that event & get featured on the local news
  • Ask your city/town to issue a proclamation
  • Post on social media all week long and highlight your work
Individual Supporting Digital Inclusion Work

If you’re an individual who wants to support digital inclusion: 

  • Post on social media to spread awareness of the cause and orgs that are making a difference in your community or nationally 
  • Donate to a digital inclusion cause
  • Volunteer at a Digital Inclusion Week event
  • Take a direct policy action, like contacting your members of Congress about ACP (through FreePress)
  • Join NDIA for a Digital Inclusion Week event, including Digital Inclusion 101 for folks who are new to the movement
  • Sponsor a local event in your community
  • Volunteer at a local event
  • Donate devices or host a device drive for a local organization
  • Share your support on social media
  • Record a message from your leader sharing why digital inclusion is important – share on social media, with your employees, and with other partner companies 
Government Entity

If you’re a local government that supports digital opportunities:

  • Post on social media to spread awareness of the cause and orgs that are making a difference in your community or nationally 
  • Donate to a digital inclusion cause
  • Volunteer at a Digital Inclusion Week event
  • Take a direct policy action, like contacting your members of Congress about ACP (through FreePress)
  • Join NDIA for a Digital Inclusion Week event, including Digital Inclusion 101 for folks who are new to the movement
  • Sponsor a local event in your community
  • Volunteer at a local event
  • Donate devices or host a device drive for a local organization
  • Share your support on social media
  • Record a message from your leader sharing why digital inclusion is important – share on social media, with your employees, and with other partner companies 

Digital Equity Strategic Plan

Across the state we encouraged residents, community organizations, businesses, and local authorities, to participate in the public comment period for the Digital Equity Strategic Plan. The document adheres to NTIA guidelines and includes a description of each requirement along with attachments, available for public inspection and comments.

The Digital Equity Strategic Plan outlines specific strategies and objectives to achieve its goals, including ensuring digital skills training, affordable service plans and broadband-ready devices are aligned as top priorities. This plan also emphasizes the transformative power of technology, which can positively impact various areas such as healthcare, education and civic engagement. 

ACP News – Benefit Paused

To support the work of digital equity across the state and create a comprehensive plan. Kansas Office of Broadband Development engaged with experts and digital equity champions across the state. We are thankful for them and their work in this space and dedication to connecting all Kansans. In alphabetical order these champions are listed below

Agency/OrganizationFirst NameLast NameTitle
League of Kansas MunicipalitiesWendiStarkResearch Associate
University of KansasCarolSmithKU Dean of Libraries
Kansas Health FoundationChanBrownProgram Officer
NAACP – Kansas ChapterKenyaCoxPresident
Kansas City Digital DriveAaronDeaconManaging Director
AARP KansasGlendaDuBoiseState Director
Kansas Data Science ConsortiumWilliamDuncanAssist Research Professor of Data Science
Kansas Department of CorrectionsCrisFanningExecutive Director – Programs and Risk Reduction
Kansas Hospital AssociationJenniferFindleyVice President Education & Special Projects
EmpowerArielRodriguezExecutive Director
Urban TECInaMontgomeryExecutive Director
UMBJacobMogleStrategic Sponsorships Manager
Kansas State Department of EducationKyleLordAssistant Director of Information Technology
United Methodist Health Ministry FundJenniferEllisCommunications Officer
Kansas Department of AgricultureDanaLadnerCompliance, Education and Agency Support Program Manager
Kansas Board of RegentsHectorMartinezDirector, Adult Education
Kansas City Digital DriveLeslieScottProgram Manager
UFCW2MonicaVargas-HuertasPolitical & Community Outreach Director
Kansas Native American AffairsJancitaWarringtonExecutive Director/Tribal Liaison
Department of Children and FamiliesFeliciaWelchEmployment Services Program Administrator

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