- Policy Platforms
The webinar opened with WGA Chair and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum introducing the themes and policy issues to be explored through his Chairman’s Initiative. Then the governor moderated a panel discussion about challenges in the rural West and ideas for building vibrant rural communities focusing on the Initiative’s three pillars, which are: Opportunity, Connectivity and Community. Watch the webinar, download the slides.
Panelists discussed the Federal Communications Commission’s ongoing Digital Opportunity Data Collection project, legislative efforts to improve broadband data and mapping, and a National Telecommunications & Information Administration-led pilot project to map broadband coverage using state data. Watch the webinar
Participants in this webinar discussed broadband infrastructure challenges that can impact tribal communities and also highlighted how creative uses of wireless spectrum can help to close the digital divide than can hamper productivity in these areas. Download slides, Watch the Webinar
Electric and telephone cooperatives across the West are using existing infrastructure to build broadband networks for their rural constituents. This webinar examined barriers that cooperatives face when planning and constructing broadband infrastructure. Download Slides, Watch the Webinar
This webinar provided information about federal resources available to rural communities to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. It also explored how agencies are working with partners and stakeholders to alleviate impacts on rural residents, protect local businesses and help rural economies rebound from this crisis. Watch the webinar.
This webinar highlighted federal programs that direct broadband investments to schools, libraries, hospitals, and community centers. These programs help provide much-needed connectivity to these crucial community hubs and can serve as the connectivity link for the surrounding area. The webinar also explored creative strategies to leverage anchor institutions and federal programs to drive further broadband investment in rural and low-income areas. Additionally, panelists highlighted how community anchor institutions have been serving students and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the webinar. Download the slides.
Panelists on this webinar, including subject matter experts and state government representatives, shared examples of disability employment best practices and policy options, emphasizing effective strategies. They also highlighted how the State Exchange on Employment & Disability is working with state leaders to provide direct policy assistance, resources, and expertise on various disability employment-related issues.
Air service is critical to economic growth and quality of life in rural communities. Remote western communities depend on air service for essential supplies and to access critical services. However, air service to these areas is often threatened, and will likely face drastic cuts due to the impacts of COVID-19. This webinar highlighted the importance of air service to rural prosperity and provided information on funding sources and best practices for communities to invest in and maintain air facilities and services.
The webinar featured officials from rural communities in the West sharing their strategies for mitigating the economic impacts of COVID-19. Participants highlighted challenges that businesses and individuals in their communities are facing, what assistance will be needed to stabilize their economies, and how they will move from immediate response to long-term recovery.
This webinar featured Blaine County, Idaho leaders explaining how they responded to the COVID-19 crisis and continue to manage its spread. Attendees learned lessons from their experience, including unexpected challenges, strategies for implementing a coordinated response, and what the next phases of management and recovery will look like.
Speakers highlighted common cybersecurity threats and corresponding best practices to thwart them. Attendees learned how to leverage the cyber lessons learned at the federal, state, and local levels to identify and disrupt malicious campaigns seeking to exploit citizens and critical infrastructure in the midst of our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This webinar highlighted challenges facing Main Street businesses in rural communities resulting from COVID-19 and provided perspectives from business owners and lenders. Participants discussed the rollout of federal aid for small businesses, including obstacles that have limited the effectiveness of those programs. Panelists also shared their opinions on needs that remain in the short and medium term.