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Craig Hosts Red Wing Ignite at Agriculture Committee Hearing
Minnesota Ag Connection - 07/12/2019

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig hosted executive director of Red Wing Ignite 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 non-profit that promotes economic development in Red Wing by bringing together and providing resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and students. Red Wing Ignite has more than 18 businesses and organizations in their co-working space, and they have 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," said Craig. "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. I'm honored to be working with local partners like her to make sure we drive innovation, growth, and economic opportunity for every Minnesotan - no matter where they live."

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to share Red Wing Ignite's story," said Mollgaard. "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."

Craig was recently selected to join the House Democratic Whip James Clyburn's House Task Force on Rural Broadband. In May, Craig participated in a Small Business Committee field hearing in Scandia on the issue of expanding rural broadband access. She has also met with officials from Scott County to discuss their efforts to implement rural broadband programs on the local level. In Congress, Craig also advocates for rural broadband access and economic development in her roles on the House Small Business and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

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