$650,000 in grant funds available from WV Geological & Economic Survey to promote economic development

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$650,000 in grant funds available from WV Geological & Economic Survey to promote economic development

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) will be administering $650,000 in grant funds for eligible entities to support broadband use and adoption throughout the state. The WVGES Technical Assistance Grants Program is part of the State Broadband Data Development Grant, which was provided by the National Telecommunications Information Administration to fulfill the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Broadband Data Development Grant totals more than $6 million in combined federal and state funding and aims to work with all state-wide broadband initiatives.

“The goal of the program,” said WVGES Director Dr. Michael Hohn, “is to get West Virginians online and plugged into broadband technologies that will enhance the ability to create and retain jobs, as well as boost productivity. Access to this technology is going to become more and more vital to our day-to-day lives as time goes on.”

The purpose of the WVGES Broadband Data Development Grant is to map broadband availability in the state, create regional and statewide plans for increasing awareness and demand for broadband, and provide technical assistance to communities and organizations. Increasing digital literacy is part of this work, as well as providing accurate mapping and building broadband demand throughout West Virginia.

Grant applications can be submitted in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 for broadband-based education, training, and online application development. State, local and county government agencies, as well as non-profits, educational institutions, community organizations, and planning and economic groups, are eligible to receive funding. Individuals are not eligible to apply. The application deadline is August 1, 2012.

An objective of the Technical Assistance grants program is to make citizens aware of broadband services and Internet applications that are currently available, or due to become available, as broadband infrastructure is installed across the state. To strengthen West Virginia’s ability to compete in an increasingly global online economy, grants are targeted in the areas of agriculture, energy and the environment, economic development, education, emergency services, public libraries, e-government, health care, public safety, and tourism.

For more information about the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey’s Broadband Technical Assistance Grants Program, visit the project website online at: www.wvbroadbandmap.org and click on the “Grants” page.

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For Release June 28, 2012
Contact: Joe Mazgaj
304-594-2331
Joseph.M.Mazgaj@wv.gov