Tucker County, WV – County officials announced today that they will partner with representatives from Smart Growth America June 11-12, 2019 as part of a free, USDA Rural Development grant-funded technical assistance program. This workshop seeks to provide local county officials and community leaders with the necessary strategies to help position Tucker County for long-term economic growth and revitalization.
“We are looking forward to returning to Tucker County to help the community develop new resources for economic prosperity centering on more reliable and access broadband Internet access,” said John Robert Smith, Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America (SGA). “We are excited about this continued partnership. Tucker County is one of just six places across the country participating in this program, so we encourage community members and leaders to take full advantage of this opportunity offered to the community.”
SGA last visited Tucker County in May 2015. During that visit, SGA’s experts helped community members identify how the communities within Tucker County could work together to harness growth and development without sacrificing the region’s character.
This time, the workshop will focus on broadband Internet access as a tool for economic development and community revitalization. Broadband—fast, reliable Internet service—can be an important piece of the digital puzzle for communities trying to find their place in the 21st-century economy. Many places like Tucker County are actively seeking new opportunities to drive economic growth but may not be certain how to expand and leverage existing high-speed service to achieve their goals.
Broadband access can help revitalize counties, including their small towns and business centers, schools, health care providers, and homes. Retirees and younger Americans are looking for places to live that are affordable and offer a high quality of life, something that many rural counties across the country have the potential to offer. A recreational county such as Tucker can leverage this improved Internet access to achieve a more vibrant local economy as well as to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
Residents are also asked to complete a brief survey regarding their current Internet and cell phone service to pinpoint existing issues and make the case for future improvements. The survey can be completed online (http://bit.ly/tuckerinternet).
“Our ability to effectively access and use the internet is a key component to the economic viability of Tucker County. Our children need it for their education, our workforce needs it for business efficiency and competitiveness, our visitors demand it to remain connected and collectively we all need it to improve our overall quality of life! – Tucker County Commission”
The program, made possible through a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant awarded to Smart Growth America by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.