How technologically advanced is Greenup County?

What sort of improvements need to be made in that area, and how can they be achieved?

Those are among the questions that will be answered Wednesday with the release of a report that has been in the works for months.

Greenup County volunteers, in conjunction with ConnectKentucky, a non-profit organization dedicated to technology-based economic development, have been assessing the county’s current level of technology use and outlining a plan for specific technology-based improvements.

The group will release a report on its findings at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the fiscal court meeting room in the Greenup County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend.

The study was conducted as part of Kentucky’s “Prescription for Innovation,” a plan to blanket the state with broadband Internet by 2007.

Key components of the report include:

—An assessment of the state of technology in nine community sectors — business, health care, libraries, K-12 education, higher education, community-based organizations, government, agriculture and tourism and recreation and parks. Each sector is ranked on a scale of zero to five.

—Specific recommendations on how local schools, businesses, organizations and governments can utilize technology to improve the quality of life for Greenup County residents.

—Projects identified as top technology priorities for the next 18 months and beyond.

ConnectKentucky is working with local leaders in every one of Kentucky’s 120 counties to conduct assessments like the one that was done in Greenup. Plans call for the effort to be completed by the end of next year. However, the organization hopes to have copies of the assessment reports in the hands of county leaders by the end of this year, said Ernie Wood, project manager for east Kentucky.

Once the reports are completed, ConnectKentucky plans to remain in contact with local leaders to help implement the recommended improvements, he said.

Greenup is the first northeastern Kentucky county where the assessment process has been completed, Wood said. Most other area counties are well along in the process, which takes about five months from start to finish, he said.

Each county assessment team is made up of representatives from each of the nine sectors that is examined, Wood said.

According to West the goal of the initiative is twofold: To make sure broadband technology is available to all citizens of the Commonwealth, and to help foster demand for improved technology by making people aware of how it can improve their lives.

Additional information about the program is available at www.kentuckyconnect.org, and the complete Greenup County report will be available for viewing at http://connectkentucky.org/localinfo/countyprofiles/greenup.htm.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

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