WILLIAMSON – Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 10 coal-impacted communities in six states that will participate in the Cool and Connected planning assistance program, an innovative initiative to help people use broadband service for downtown revitalization and economic development.
The Williamson Health and Wellness Center (WHSC) was awarded $45,000 for this important project.
“This will leverage broadband and Wi Fi zones in downtown Williamson and at educational institutions to cultivate a skilled workforce and help people open businesses and enhance the use of healthcare technology,” said Darrin McCormick, Community Liaison for WHWC.
Through Cool and Connected, partner communities will receive direct technical assistance from a team of experts to develop strategies and an action plan for using planned or existing broadband service to create connected, economically vibrant main streets and small-town neighborhoods.
By combining broadband service with other local assets, such as cultural and recreational amenities, communities can attract and retain investment and people, revitalize downtowns, diversify local economies, and improve walkability.
The Cool and Connected Partner Communities included the Williamson Health and Wellness Center in Williamson, W. Va., which was only one of 10 so far in the United States. The announcement this week made this community one in five that received the grant.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)