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Dodge City and Ford County Technology Plan
Executive Summary

Affordable access to and effective use of broadband (high speed internet) is important to Dodge City and Ford County. Taking an even broader and more holistic view community leadership has, from their initial work as the Digital Dodge City initiative, expressed their aspirations as wanting to be a community where residents of all ages are technologically adaptable self-learners.

This desire to create a sustainable digital culture serves as the foundation for the community’s current participation in the Kansas Department of Commerce technology planning pilot community program. With an eye to economic and cultural development community leadership has continued to expand stakeholder support and focus efforts in the immediate future on a specific set of community tactics. These tactics are as follows:
  • Build Sustainable Capacity
  • Develop Personal Skills
  • Encourage Business Engagement
  • Exercise City Leadership
The initial Dodge City/Ford County action plan is specifically targeted to these tactics. The plan (see below for more detail) includes coordinated efforts to collect data on current broadband needs (initially in the context of a specific initiative for the Heritage District), engage providers, build personal skills across the community and advance the digital footprint – in terms of both availability and adoption – in an important economic and cultural corridor in the community (i.e., the Downtown Heritage District). By July 2014 community leadership will finalize plans as they set forth tasks, timelines and resources required.
Tactics and Initiatives

Develop Personal Skills Initiative

Provide sustained opportunity for self-learning by developing programs that promote and advance personal technology skills and awareness. Implement initiative to launch a sustainable on-going program to develop personal skills.

Start: 07/21/14 --> End: 06/30/15

Community Digital Skills Program
This initiative would develop and execute a sustainable digital skills development program aimed at residents across Dodge City. Priority would be given to disadvantaged cultures. Program graduates would be recognized in the community through a PR campaign. Local partnership with the community college and high school would participate in class design and delivery – both online and in person. Library and city space and other (e.g., churches) would be used to hold costs down and demonstrate leadership/support.
  • Focused on key community issue (skills development)
  • Partnership potential across K-12, Community College, Library and business sector
  • Good opportunity to engage provider community in both skills development content and support
  • Promotes economic development…e-commerce skills and workforce development
Start 07/01/14 --> End 06/30/15

Exercise City Leadership

Develop and facilitate the role of the city as a centerpiece to the community's digital culture.
Start: 07/15/14 --> End: 06/30/15

Light Up the Downtown Heritage District
This initiative would promote and facilitate commerce and tourism in and along Front Street and the entire Downtown Heritage District through the development of expanded wifi, coordinated local business web sites (perhaps with a new Heritage District brand/watermark) and a variety of coordinated e-commerce initiatives (online menu’s, deal of the day, promotion of community events, access to hotels and restaurants, QR codes, etc.)
  • Promotes economic development…with tourism focus
  • Engages small biz sector
  • Promotes web site development
  • Promotes e-commerce (lunch specials, deal of the day, etc.)
  • Potential YELP or YELP-like application
  • Visible initiative / good community promotional opportunity

Encourage Business Engagement

Design and promote local business awareness and engagement throughout the county and leverage local resources.
Start: 10/01/14 --> End: 02/28/15