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Recently, SERCAP was selected by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) Office of Broadband to complete planning work and create a Regional Digital Opportunity Plan for 17 counties and three (3) cities in Southside and Piedmont Virginia. In late 2022, the Office of Broadband reached out to the Virginia Community Action Partnership’s (VACAP) network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the Commonwealth, to gauge the Network’s interest in engaging in this digital opportunity planning work. Several CAAs, including SERCAP, submitted Letters of Interest in December of 2022, and then submitted full applications in January of this year. On February 21, 2023, SERCAP received official notice that the agency had been awarded a $65,000.00 grant to conduct this planning work.
The development of the Regional Digital Opportunity Plan for Southside and Piedmont Virginia will consist of three (3) primary phases, including: 1) the Community Assessment and Research Phase, 2) the Data Analysis Phase, and 3) the Regional Digital Opportunity Plan Development Phase. SERCAP’s proposed Scope of Work further outlines specific activities, such as: conducting several Community Meetings/Focus Groups, distributing and collecting Survey data, researching existing digital opportunity plans, and developing the Regional Digital Opportunity Plan utilizing the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely/Time Specific) methodology.
When completed, SERCAP’s Regional Digital Opportunity Plan for Southside and Piedmont Virginia will outline a service delivery plan for connecting end users to the existing broadband infrastructure in the area, and will provide for training and technical assistance for individuals, and even small businesses, that may need some assistance in using this technology to their full advantage. In order to complete this planning grant work by the August 1, 2023 deadline set by DHCD’s Office of Broadband, SERCAP is intending to hire a Virginia based Contractor to work with SERCAP’s Regional Department. Interested community planning firms should contact SERCAP’s Director of Regional Programs, Ms. Amanda Kelley, at 540-345-1184 ext. 133 or via email at email@example.com with any questions about the Project. Proposals are due to SERCAP by Friday, April 28, 2023.
*This Regional Digital Opportunity Planning Grant has been made possible by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) Office of Broadband. Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs in Virginia, are leveraged by a Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, administered by DHCD.