College of Menominee Nation

Comprehensive Community Technology Center

The College of Menominee Nation, located in one of Wisconsin’s more rural and economically disadvantaged areas, plans to upgrade and expand public computer services for the Menominee Indian tribe of Wisconsin as well as the broader public in the region through its Comprehensive Community Technology Center project. The project plans to upgrade speed and capacity primarily to serve the more than 5,000 members of the Menominee Tribe living on or adjacent to the 365 square mile reservation. The project proposes to provide certificate and/or technical diploma training, skills-building activities ranging from GED assistance to math and reading coaching, career exploration and placement, and special workshops for economically vulnerable populations including people with disabilities, at-risk youth, tribal populations, and the unemployed.

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BTOP In Action
Computer Center Patrons sit at tables and use computers and tablets.

Before the College of Menominee Nation opened the Community Technology Center (CTC), the only Internet access available on the reservation was slow dial-up. The reservation is located in one of Wisconsin’s more rural and economically disadvantaged areas and uses the CTC to provide broadband access and workforce training and development for economically vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, at-risk youth, tribal members, and the unemployed. Through June 2013, the College of Menominee Nation deployed approximately 130 workstations and served an average of 320 users per week.

The College of Menominee Nation has also partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Extension to offer tribal members classes to improve computer skills and digital literacy. A mobile lab travels around the community to teach people about broadband, its purposes and benefits, and basic computer literacy skills. Many members of the Menominee Indian Nation are active duty military and deployed around the world. Teaching computer skills, including how to use Skype software through these classes, enables family members to keep in touch with loved ones serving around the country and overseas.

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