Pilot Broadband Project in Washington County
Seeking 10 Lobster Fishers & 10 Wild Blueberry Farmers to Participate in a Two-Year Broadband Technology Pilot Project Starting January 2011
Washington County is a major hub for blueberry agriculture and commercial fishing in Maine. Axiom Technologies has been awarded an NTIA BTOP Sustainable Broadband Adoption grant that will provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment and support.
The project will equip ten local wild blueberry farmers and ten local lobster fishers with wireless equipment and a rugged laptop as a pilot project to help local industries utilize broadband technology in the field and for small business and economic development purposes. Training for basic computer skills will be provided to crew and family.
- Training of Basic Computer Skills for farmers, fishers, crew & family provided by Axiom Technologies & University of Maine at Machias;
- Collaborating with the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research & Education and the Sunrise County Blueberry Cooperative to develop programs for online real-time reporting;
- And, applying technology to the fishing and farming industries in Washington County.
Participants will receive instruction and guidance to adopt technology tools to support and enhance their business. Also, the program will provide a new Toughbook Laptop, a high-speed broadband connection in the home and at the place of business (field or lobster boat) and basic computer skills training for two years at no cost to the participants.
Lobster Fishers and Blueberry Farmers Credentials and Experience Criteria:
- Lobster Fishers a. Must reside and fish in Washington County; and, b. Must hold a Class II or III Commercial Lobster License and fish 500+ traps/year;
- Blueberry Farmers a. Must reside and farm in Washington County; and, b. Must generate $1000.00 income per year in wild blueberry farming.
In addition, to address a healthcare worker shortage in the area, the project will expand distance learning for healthcare professionals in partnership with the Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions, with the goal of expanding the pool of local residents with associates’ degrees in nursing.
Washington County Education & Employment through Sustainable Broadband Adoption
For information and application: Contact – Jane Blackwood, M.Ed. at 207-255-0679 or firstname.lastname@example.org