The primary partnership in this project involved the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE). For the most part, this partnership was very successful. VCE provided the network of agents in the field who live in the communities and had the infrastructure to manage their activities. The BEV provided its experience building community networks and its expertise in deploying appropriate technologies towards that end. What made this a successful partnership was the recognition by members of both organizations of the value the other brought to this project. This enabled project team members to work in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation. However, an aspect of this partnership that did not work very well was knowledge transfer of community network building to VCE technical staff assigned to assist local citizen teams. As a result, the BEV had (and continues) to provide direct technical support to the leadership teams in each county whereas it would have been more appropriate and sustainable for the leadership teams to turn to professionals within Extension for this purpose. Ongoing discussions between leadership at the BEV and VCE (described in spin off activities) may remedy this situation so that it doesn't hinder in future joint projects undertaken by these two agencies.

Most other successful partnerships have been described elsewhere in this report. They are:

  1. Partnership with Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, the Community Colleges, and potentially other organizations that can offer opportunities and training to make it possible for entrepreneurs new to the Web to use it effectively for sales, marketing and research purposes.
  2. Partnership between the BEV and the Eastern Shore Virginia Portal to provide Virtual Business Incubator and Community Connections accounts to residents of Virginia's Eastern Shore. This is an example for how a project such as this can cooperate with other initiatives targeting the same communities.
  3. We partnered with local school systems to use their computer labs to conduct workshops in some counties. This allowed us to leverage existing facilities to provide hands on training to inexperienced users who benefited by having access to trained personnel and relatively modern equipment.
  4. The Director of Technology for Craig County School systems, Adele Morris, was a member of the Craig TLT and has included this project as a community outreach component of the Technology Plan that is required by the State Dept. Of Education. Debbie Snead, retired VCE agent, who leads the effort in Craig county believes that this collaboration between the technology leadership team members, other leaders in the community and the school system has helped to promote and give credibility to the project and its goals. She anticipates that youth, families, community organizations, local government and businesses will continue to have the opportunity to learn more about the significance of technology and use their Internet skills in ways that will increase their visibility and income, and provide an economic boost to the entire community.
  5. The Dickenson County Wireless Integrated Network (DCWIN) program in Dickenson County provides broadband wireless access to residents in the county. Network engineers and managers who are responsible for DCWIN also participate in Dickenson County's Technology Leadership Team thus ensuring that the goals of both projects are supported through this partnership. The Chamber of Commerce in Dickenson County has recognized the potential for the Dickenson County Electronic Village to provide economic development opportunities and is another member in this partnership.

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