Message from the Executive Director
After passage of the Kentucky Innovation Act in 2000, Kentucky business and government leaders cultivated a vision for a technology research and consulting organization that would advance technology in the Commonwealth. In 2002, that organization launched as the Center for Information Technology Enterprise (CITE). Soon after CITE's inception, the project called ConnectKentucky was born as a strong public-private partnership to lead technology-based initiatives. The results of that work are unprecedented. ConnectKentucky’s initiatives for broadband deployment and technology growth received recognition in The Wall Street Journal, Economist, Forbes, The Washington Post, and many other national publications. The recognition led to passage of national legislation modeled after ConnectKentucky known as the Broadband Data Improvement Act, eventually funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The ConnectKentucky model is the basis for programs administered by our parent corporation, Connected Nation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, in 20 plus states and territories across the country.
As a result of the work of ConnectKentucky and its partners, all Kentucky counties have at least one local government website; ConnectKentucky yielded nearly $3.5 million in additional federal, private, and foundation funding; and more than 3,500 computers were delivered to underprivileged kids, libraries, non-profit after-school programs, and community centers.
Utilizing increases in available broadband technology, unforeseen opportunities are within reach, such as: better and more affordable healthcare; an education that prepares Kentucky’s children to prosper in a globally networked world; rural Kentuckians succeeding in business and careers that formerly required moving to a major metropolitan area; and developing a competitive economic advantage for attracting today’s high-tech jobs to replace the decline of traditional low-skilled jobs.
Today, ConnectKentucky functions as a public-partnership with the mission to accelerate technology-based economic development in the Commonwealth. By leveraging the latest in technology and networking, ConnectKentucky looks forward to continuing to ensure Kentucky remains the place of choice to live, work, and raise a family!
René F. True