Are you an Otter Tail County resident who has been impacted by COVID-19 and lack access to a working computer and/or the internet? Consider applying for a Tech Pack during the open enrollment period Nov.18-20.

The Tech Pack project is part of Otter Tail County’s efforts to advance local broadband initiatives as a Blandin Broadband Community and by investing Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to assist county residents who have experienced economic impacts due to COVID-19. The project is part of broader efforts to bridge the digital divide in Otter Tail County.

Tech Packs provide a free laptop and six months of internet access to Otter Tail County residents who have experienced impacts due to COVID-19 and who lack access to a working computer that is not shared (for example, a child’s computer for distance learning) and/or do not have access to internet at their residence that is not through a phone plan. The Tech Pack project seeks to help county residents who need a computer for job seeking or training, to help students with distance learning, and to help seniors and others access telehealth and other virtual services during the pandemic.

Tech Packs contain:

  A laptop and case.

• Wireless mouse.

• Wireless hotspot for internet access (six-month wi-fi subscription included).

• information about CareerForce resources and services.

• one year of free technical support provided by PCs for the People.

Tech Packs will be awarded to Otter Tail County residents 18 years of age or older who:

• Have experienced job loss.

• Have experienced reduced hours.

• Saw a change or loss of household income.

• Face future uncertainty in industry.

• Have other barriers due to COVID-19.

• Do not have access to a working computer that is not shared (for example a children’s computer for distance learning) and/or do not have access to the internet at their residence that is not through a phone plan.

The Tech Pack application will be available online at www.viking.lib.mn.us/tech-packs Nov. 18-20. Otter Tail County residents can also apply by calling 218-739-5286 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the open enrollment period. Supply is limited. Tech Pack recipients will be chosen using a randomized lottery system. One entry per resident will be accepted and only one Tech Pack will be awarded per residence.

For more information on the Tech Pack project, visit www.viking.lib.mn.us/tech-packs or call 218-739-5286.

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