Grupp to tackle broadband access in Otter Tail County

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Minnesota Fellow Lead Carter Grupp to Address Broadband Access in Otter Tail County

September 24, 2021 – Otter Tail County, MN – Lead For America, Land O’Lakes, Inc., the Mayo Clinic, Midwest Dairy and Scoular recently announced the placement of six members of the American Connection Corps (ACC) in Minnesota. These fellows will work to increase broadband access and digital literacy, as well as contribute to essential community development initiatives in communities across Minnesota. Minnesota Fellow Carter Grupp official was selected for an internship in Otter Tail County to work with the County Community Development Agency (CDA) on countywide broadband access.

With the support of the Otter Tail County Council of Commissioners, Amy Baldwin, Director of Community Development for Otter Tail County, applied to host a scholarship in March 2021. The scholarship comes at a pivotal time when the county is making grants. significant investments in broadband development and access. . As a selected member, Grupp is not a county employee, rather his position is a two-year service contract, with Otter Tail County as the host.

Grupp is a recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in political science. The Lead For Minnesota scholarship interested him because it is an opportunity for young leaders to initiate innovative solutions to complex challenges.

“Broadband access, digital literacy and digital equity are becoming increasingly important to our businesses and communities. I look forward to contributing in these areas to make Otter Tail County a competitive region to raise a family, start a business and live your best life, ”said Grupp.

Grupp began his work in Otter Tail County in August. To learn more about the needs and opportunities in the county, Grupp initially focused on a “listening tour” with local broadband providers, community leaders, libraries, schools and businesses.

As Otter Tail County made progress in addressing gaps in internet service, Baldwin said there was still work to be done. “The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly highlighted why broadband access is so important to employers, residents and visitors to the county for job search, education, medical appointments and daily activities, but we knew there was a need to expand access before that. Otter Tail County ranks number 65 out of 87 counties in the state when measuring broadband speeds of 100 mbps (megabits per second) download and 20 mbps download. The objective set for the State is for each household to be served by 100/20 speeds by 2026.

Otter Tail County Commissioner Kurt Mortenson said, “We are delighted to have Carter on board and proud to partner with Lead For Minnesota to help us meet the challenges of broadband and advance business. major investments in broadband access. “

Carter Grupp

Otter Tail County and Grupp look forward to hearing from the community on the needs and opportunities of this broadband focused work. They invite community members to connect with Grupp to learn more by emailing cgrupp@co.ottertail.mn.us or calling 218-998-8048.


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