Munoz070920SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband announced Thursday that the McKinley Park Development Council is among the first recipients of the Illinois Connected Communities grant program.

“Broadband access has been an issue for communities across the state for some time now,” Munoz said. “Current events have not only underscored the issue, but made it clear that we need to make internet available in every household.”

Illinois Connected Communities is a partnership among the Illinois Office of Broadband, the Evanston-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and local philanthropy groups. The program is designed to engage a first-year cohort of communities through best practice curriculum, expert consultation, and a state grant of up to $15,000.
“The McKinley Park Development Council has been working to improve our community since 2017, and this grant will allow them to continue their work by expanding broadband access,” Munoz said.

By the end of the 12-month program, each Illinois Connected Community will have completed a community-driven, broadband strategic plan that articulates the community’s broadband vision and identifies an action plan for progress toward improved broadband access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

This initial investment is part of the governor’s 4-year plan, Connect Illinois, to bring universal access to communities across Illinois. Connect Illinois may release a second round of grants later this year.

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