U.S. Rep. Angie Craig hosted Red Wing Ignite Executive Director Neela Mollgaard at an Agriculture Subcommittee hearing titled "Building Opportunity in Rural America through Affordable, Reliable and High-Speed Broadband."
Red Wing Ignite is a nonprofit that promotes economic development by bringing together and providing resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and students. Red Wing Ignite has more than 18 businesses and organizations in its co-working space, and has recruited and supported nearly 40 startups in 2019 alone.
Mollgaard spoke on the need for more resources to take full advantage of broadband access in rural communities, including the expansion of workforce development, 21st century education tools for students, and growing rural businesses.
"Expanding rural broadband for greater Minnesota is a top priority for farmers and business owners in my district, and it's a top priority for me in Congress. But broadband access is only one piece of the puzzle - we also need to make sure we have a well-prepared workforce and resources for businesses to reap the benefits of high-speed internet," Craig said. "Neela is a great example of local leadership that encourages communities to take full advantage of broadband access in Greater Minnesota in our schools, our fields, and on Main Street."
Mollgaard said she was grateful for the opportunity to share Red Wing Ignite's story.
"It is important to highlight the need for rural communities to stay competitive. Together, with our local, state and national partners we're creating an innovative ecosystem for our students, entrepreneurs and business community," she said.
You can watch Mollgaard's testimony at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=365806767417835
Craig was recently selected to join the House Democratic Whip James Clyburn's House Task Force on Rural Broadband.