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Barberton WiFi Zone Project Set to Impact over 800 Public Housing Recipients


kron, OH—The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) and Building For Tomorrow’s (BFT) ConnectHome Akron Initiative is bringing no cost, quality internet service to underserved communities in Barberton through their ongoing Community WiFi Zone project. The Barberton WiFi Zone Project is a collaborative effort between AMHA, the Barberton Community Foundation, Barberton City Schools, and the City of Barberton. The Barberton WiFi Zone project will impact 463 children and 329 adults living in 272 AMHA Public Housing Units at both Van Buren Homes and Crimson Terrace.

The Barberton WiFi Zone is a part of an ongoing AMHA WiFi Zone Initiative throughout Summit County. In September, the housing authority launched its first two WiFi Zones at Stephanie Keys Towers in Stow and Pinewood Garden in Twinsburg. It Is currently on track to complete Paul E. Belcher Senior Apartments in Akron, and Edgewood Village in Akron.

“We could not do this work without our amazing partners,” says AMHA Executive Director Brian Gage. “Discussions about this project began in August of 2020, and the persistence and commitment by the Barberton Community Foundation, Barberton City Schools, and the City of Barberton were instrumental in seeing the project through to fruition.”

The project will be funded collaboratively with AMHA contributing $65,000; Barberton City Schools contributing $50,000, The City of Barberton contributing $20,000, and the Barberton Community Foundation contributing $18,000. The total estimated project cost is $153,000.00.

“The City of Barberton is excited to be a part of this collaboration to help provide internet access to our AMHA residents,” says Barberton Mayor William Judge. “This will help our school children and keep them engaged and active with the school system. We look forward to this project and the opportunities it provides.”

Since 2017, ConnectHome Akron—a partnership between AMHA’s nonprofit arm Building for Tomorrow, AMHA, and The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—  has worked to tackle the “digital divide” in Summit County. ConnectHome programming has consisted of free Hotspot Lending Programs, Device Distribution Days with partner PCs for People, Community WiFi Installation, and Digital Literacy Training. In-Unit WiFi is the next step in true sustainability and long-term adoption of digital technology.

“Barberton City School District is thrilled that we could assist our partners at AMHA to provide a permanent WIFI solution for the students and families that reside in the households associated with AMHA,” Says Barberton City School District Superintendent Jeffrey Ramnytz. “The COVID-19 public health crisis has brought the high need for WiFi to the forefront of our community, as it has become essential to have Internet access to participate in school and thrive in day-to-day life. The landscape of education has changed because of this pandemic. Even though we will be back in school completely in the Fall of 2021, remote learning and support for our students will continue to be a part of what we do every day. It is critical that all students and families have access to WiFi to be successful in the future.”

“Nationwide, only 55% of public housing households have consistent and reliable connections to high speed broadband,” says Megan Conkle, coordinator of the ConnectHome Akron Initiative. “The Barberton WiFi Zone collaboration isn’t just going to impact the almost 800 children and adults currently in our housing, it will also impact all future families who live in our Barberton properties—it is truly a sustainable model.”

For more information on the ConnectHome Akron initiative, visit www.connecthomeakron.org.





Joan Davidson

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority Community Relations Manager

330-805-1051 | [email protected] 

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Chamber Announces Tia Ramlow as Incoming Board Chair


Today the Greater Akron Chamber announced Tia Ramlow as its incoming Board Chair. Steve Millard, President of the Chamber is excited to have Ramlow in this leadership role, citing her experience, vision and commitment to success as the perfect combination of attributes for all of the critical initiatives the Chamber is driving regionally.

Greater Akron Economic Development Partners Launch COVID-19 Resource Guide for Employers and Employees


On Friday, March 20, Greater Akron’s economic development ecosystem partners launched a one-stop regional guide to assist impacted employers and employees in the navigation of information, guidance and resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its corresponding economic implications. The City of Akron, County of Summit and Greater Akron Chamber, in partnership with a large number of organizations aligned with our Elevate Greater Akron initiative, are working closely together, coordinating resources and focusing efforts to ensure businesses and the people they employ have the access to timely, accurate information through an easily navigable website, gaccovid19.org.

Effort to Increase City’s Economic Inclusion Needs Your Help


Mayor Dan Horrigan’s State of the City address underlined the need for all of us to recognize the value of driving shared prosperity in our region. At the Greater Akron Chamber we have been working closely with Mayor Horrigan, County Executive Ilene Shapiro and dozens of leaders within the philanthropic, business and non-profit ecosystem through our shared Elevate Greater Akron economic development strategy that includes driving action and measurable progress on economic inclusion.

Akron Launches Rubber City Match Program to Help Entrepreneurs, Great Streets Districts


Akron is launching a new program called Rubber City Match that aims to help both entrepreneurs and the city's Great Streets initiative. The program, which Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan is expected to formally announce at his state of the city address Wednesday, Feb. 26, provides new and existing businesses in the 12 Great Streets Akron districts with financial aid, training and education. It also matches businesses to vacant retail properties in the districts, according to a news release.

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Leveraging FirstNet for Medical Communications Webinar: Three Ohio healthcare agencies share experiences on COVID-19 response


Join my public safety colleagues and I on February 4, 2021 for a webinar focused on how FirstNet users are utilizing wireless communications to meet the mobile healthcare challenges of today. In this webinar we will discuss:

  • How Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, OH) is preparing for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution
  • Learn how Kettering Health Network is utilizing wireless communications at mobile testing sites to provide patient test results faster
  • Hear from the OH EMS Chiefs Association President on EMS response in rural Ohio
Register now so you don’t miss out on these important topics and the opportunity to provide feedback.
Speakers include:
  • Adam Griffith, Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency
  • Chris Kyer, Kettering Health Network
  • Robert Jacks, Meigs County EMS, OH EMS Chiefs Association President
This webinar is intended for public safety and other government personnel and will be recorded.

G.R.I.T. Fourth Quarter First Aid


Growing Resilient Impactful Teams presents Fourth Quarter First Aid, a workshop with life-saving tools for you and your team. It can happen at work: heart attack, stroke, and other crisis conditions. Learn the common warning signs, how to respond and simple ways to keep your employees healthy and safe. Resource packets will be mailed to all attendees after the event.

Virtual Happy Hour for Young Professionals


Casual happy hour presentation for young professional advisors in Greater Akron. It's a fun opportunity to connect with local colleagues while learning how Akron Community Foundation can equip you to accomplish your clients' goals through philanthropy.


Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 4-5 p.m.


Virtual platform – details will be provided upon registration


Wear your favorite concert T-shirt and BYOB!


Matt Hochstetler, David J. Simmons & Associates Michael McLelland, PNC Institutional Asset Management Brittany Baranowski, CBIZ
Mike Grater, Highland Consulting Associates
Alex Rupert, Sequoia Financial Group
Laura Fink, Akron Community Foundation

Laura Fink | 330-436-5611 | [email protected]

Registration is free. Reserve your spot by Sept. 11 at www.akroncf.org/YPAC.

U of A CBA Business Analytics Innovation Summit


There is no doubt that the Business Analytics (BA) revolution (or hype?) continues at a blistering pace, with machine learning algorithms now taking their place as the "magical" technology of the day. While the initial fears about knowledge worker replacement have abated, many are wondering just how well their decisions can be "augmented" by their pal, the algorithm. And companies are amassing huge lakes of unanalyzed data just in case there are some gems amidst the dross.

Back in the trenches, business must do what they have always done: identify the right problem, gather the right data, perform the right analysis, and make the right decision.

The focus of this year’s Business Analytics Innovation Summit will be on decision–making. How has the use of Business Analytics (BA) changed the way your firm goes about deciding what to do? Specifically:

  • How do you decide what data, and how much data to collect? How long do you keep it, and in what format? What surprising things have you learned about data management in the past few years?
  • How do you prioritize what problems to try to solve using BA? Have you created new governance mechanisms? What makes the BA era different? Is BA just another element in your IT portfolio, or is it managed separately?
  • How do you choose which analyses to do? And how do you ensure that the decisions these analyses recommend are actually carried out in practice? How do you evaluate the risks that come with offloading a certain portion of the decision to a machine?

Emerging Mental Health Issues in the Workplace


Hosted by Portage County Society for Human Resource Management, Summa Health and The NEW Center Emerging Mental Health Issues in the Workplace Join this virtual event discussing emerging mental health issues and concepts in the workplace. The panel of experts will give their insights during a brief presentation followed by an extensive Q&A session where attendees are encouraged to participate! Presenters: Employment Law Attorney Counseling Psychologist Psychiatrist EAP Counselor Occupational Health Physician Cost: $15 When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Time: NOON - 1:30 p.m. Where: Zoom link and log in information will be sent prior to the event to registered attendees *Earn 1.5 SHRM Hours for participating Register: https://pchra.shrm.org/forms/september-23rd-emerging-mental-health-issues-workplace

AAF Movie Trivia Night


July 15 | 5:30pm - 6:30pm Zoom Hosted by National CineMedia Topic: 80’s-Disney-Actors/Roles-Marvel-Sports Free to participate. Each player will have their own pen/paper to write down the answers to the questions shown on the screen (and read by the host for those with video issues). At the end of the game, host will reveal the correct answers. It is based on the honor system as to how many each player got correct. Prizes will be mailed to the winners! Limited to the first 25 participants. Registration https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIudu-gqz8jEtXC8cuq6-kGeZ0mLHFS4svq

The CoLounge Tours


Stop in and check out all the amenities that the CoLounge offers. Monday, June 22nd 4-7pm Wednesday, June 24th 10-1pm Friday, June 26th 10-1pm SPECIAL FOUNDERS RATES are now available via www.thecolounge.com. Inquire online and come next week to lock them in!

Kristen Birkbeck
[email protected]com

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