Leadership Council of Southwestern IllinoisMARYVILLE – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded 12 organizations with new state grants to support broadband advancements, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is excited to congratulate Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois as a recipient.

“Because of their experience of drawing private investment and economic advancement, Leadership Council SWIL supports nearly 700,000 residents and more than 250 leaders in business, industry, labor, education and government,” Crowe said. “This grant will allow the Southwestern Illinois region to advance and improve the reliability and consistency of internet connectivity for remote workers, telehealth, and e-learning for students.”

The Illinois Connected Communities grant program was created to support building broadband capacity in some of the most underserved areas with awards up to $15,000.

“The Leadership Council SWIL Education Committee is excited to participate in this this very important Broadband Connectivity planning effort,” said Dr. Ronda Sauget, Executive Director and CEO of Leadership Council SWIL.” It is more critical than ever before to have internet connectivity for remote work, e-learning, telemedicine, agricultural, and so many other sectors. This grant will help us to identify a path for SWIL to move forward.”

The 12-month program enables each Illinois Connected Community to complete a plan for expanding broadband that identifies actions to improve internet access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

The program directs $150,000 in state-funded small grants for 12 community and local government partners to help improve access to high-speed broadband in their communities.  The state grants will be matched by $150,000 in philanthropic funds.

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