Integrated Community Network project Part 2

Forks Forum


Part 2 of a two-part series on the Integrated Community Network.
Prepared by Rod Fleck

North Olympic Peninsula Skill Center (NOPSC):
n The Skill Center is a cooperative partnership of five Clallam County School Districts – Port Angeles, Sequim, Crescent, Cape Flattery, and Quillayute Valley – along with Peninsula College as a full partner. The Skill Center provides in-depth vocational programs for high school students aged 16-21 and Peninsula College students.
n The core facility of the Skill Center is currently under construction in Port Angeles. Satellite programs will be housed and taught in Sequim, Clallam Bay and Forks. At the core facility, there is also space for a business incubator. In Forks, the Tech Center will house the Skill Center satellite programs as well as serving as Forks’ business incubator.
n Current plans for the Forks satellite include programs in Professional Medical Careers (including Certified Nurse’s Assistant) and Automotive Technology.
n This is a powerful partnership among the school districts and the college for educational as well as economic development purposes. For example, the Skill Center was instrumental in attracting Westport Ship Builders to locate in Port Angeles.

Washington Virtual Classroom Consortium:
n Consortium of twelve school districts including the Washington State School for the Deaf;
n Primary mission is to use existing inter-connectivity among districts so that resources of staff and curriculum can be shared via video conference technology and web-based learning modules;
n All districts share similar demographics:
n Significant levels of poverty;
n Mix of ethnicities in community; and
n Rural.
n Existing platform and familiarity with providing real time video conference events:
n Meetings with Congressional leaders;
n Lecture instruction; and
n Even dissection of salmonids.

n Six scheduled course offerings:
n Salmon Ecosystems Management;
n Washington State History;
n Virtually Washington;
n A+ certification (IT);
n Cisco Academy (IT);
n American Sign Language.

Currently developing a foreign language component in association with Sony and the UW

Bill and Melinda Gates
High Tech High School
In February 2002, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation named Forks High School as their first rural High Tech High.

The three-year funding for this grant is to reinvent teaching and learning at Forks High along the design principles of San Diego’s High Tech High.

Building on a strong technology infrastructure, Forks High Tech High is focusing on the three themes of Personalization, Real World Connections and Common Intellectual Mission to create a powerful learning community that meets the diverse needs of all students, preparing them to achieve high academic standards and leave school ready to meet the challenges of higher education and the world of work.

Virtual High School
n This is a national on-line school housed in Maynard, Massachusetts. 2,034 students from 174 schools in twenty-four states and eight foreign countries participate together in 121 on-line elective courses.

n Forks High School is a charter member participating in its fifth year with Virtual High School. Forks High has two teachers and forty students each semester participating in courses ranging from Poetry Writing to Holocaust Studies, from Contemporary Music to Veterinary Medicine.

n Virtual High School provides Forks students with a rich array of high quality, elective courses that would not otherwise be available to students in a small, rural, remote school.

Northwestern Olympic Peninsula Virtual Cultural Center
n Olympic Peninsula communities and the University of Washington will work together to create a web-based museum to showcase aspects of the rich history and culture of the region. The virtual museum will be organized as a series of rooms, each representing a different aspect of the culture or history of the region. Each room will be developed in close cooperation with the specific community it represents. A variety of different media formats (text, photographs, video, and audio) will be used as appropriate to the specific exhibition being developed. A central foyer/portal will be the embarkation point for each visitor's exploration. The virtual museum has many possible areas of focus including the various regional tribal cultures; the Spoelstra collection of historic farm implements; the collection of the Forks Timber Museum; shipwreck materials; materials from the Clallam County Historical Society used to depict the lives of early pioneers; and materials from the Veterans History Project. The first room will be developed with the Hoh Tribe and will serve as a pilot for the project. A community-based approach will be used to collect images and to curate them. Local community members will be involved in identifying and photographing images and developing the Web site. A community process for generating commentary on the materials in each exhibition will be developed. UW expertise will be engaged as needed to move the project forward. The virtual cultural center will also be used for on-line marketing of the arts and crafts of the region and as a resource for promoting tourism to the area.
n Partners:
n UW Educational Partnerships and Learning Technologies
n UW Computing & Communications
n The Olympic Peninsula Integrated Community Network
n The Hoh Tribe
n The City of Forks
n Peninsula College
n Quillayute Valley School District
n Preston, Gates and Ellis

Forks Community Hospital
n The Clallam County Hospital District #1 (dba – Forks Community Hospital, Bogachiel Clinic, Forks Women’s Clinic, Clallam Bay Clinic & West End Outreach Services) has continued to embrace the use of technology to improve the quality of healthcare delivered to West Clallam and Jefferson counties.
n In 1998 a new integrated health information system was installed and system expansion has progressed over the past four years. Network and Computer utilization has increased 400% as a result. Medical analyzers have been physically integrated onto the data network and into the health information system, insuring prompt and accurate capture of laboratory test results. The hospital district clinics were integrated with the health information system in 2002. Additional modules are currently being assessed to expand technology utilization and improve data collection. Concurrently, physical network expansion occurred connecting all Hospital District facilities across a single network infrastructure. These enhancements have streamlined patient data capture, data disbursement and improved accuracy and work processes.
n As we move forward, the district will continue to look at technology areas that will improve work processes, improve data collection and disbursement, increase access to medical services, increase educational offerings, address staffing issues, and most importantly improve the quality and quantity of health care provided to the Northwest Olympic Peninsula. We plan to continue to be Pioneers in Rural Health Care.
n The Hospital District continues to be a leader in the state in the TeleHealth arena. TeleHealth video-conferencing sites have increased from four West Clallam sites to eleven in the past few years. Average utilization has increased from a 10-12 hours per month to 30-40 hours monthly. TeleHealth systems are utilized, about equally, for direct patient and client health care delivery, provider and staff education, provider collaboration and administrative meetings. Educational offerings have allowed local providers access to continuing medical The education and special seminars that would otherwise been difficult to receive. System usage for administrative functions has shown ability to reduce travel and travel costs as well as improve provider collaboration. Patient care services continue to deliver specialty care services to the residents of West Clallam County, reducing inconvenience and travel while maintaining access to quality healthcare. Specialty care access continues to be expanded and improved by increasing available specialty providers in multiple care areas. In 2001 a CT scan was installed at the hospital utilizing digital radiology images. Images can quickly be moved to remote Radiologists across Puget Sound during hours when our Radiologist is not scheduled. This has greatly improved diagnostic and treatment planning in critical care areas as well as improved radiology turn around times. We are currently exploring further movement to digital radiology in our existing and potential expansion of services. We are also actively investigating expanded TeleHealth usage possibilities in assisting us deal with staffing shortages. Tele-Pharmacy is one area currently being evaluated. This application would further progress the integration of technology and medical equipment and service delivery. In 2001 we collaborated with Inland Health NW in Spokane on the establishment, and are the sole rural participant, of the Washington TeleHealth Coalition. This group consists of TeleHealth managers from many of the large healthcare organizations in the state working towards the advancement of Telehealth services. An agreement with the University of Washington has been reached to partner in Telehealth activities, utilizing recently expanded access to the existing K-20 network. This network will place all Olympic Peninsula Hospitals (from Aberdeen to Bremerton) on the same physical network.

Labor Force Assessment
n In the fall of 2002, the City of Forks, in partnership with the Integrated Community Network and Washington State University (Energy Program and the Entrepreneurship Studies Center), collaborated in the design and distribution of a Labor Force Assessment survey. The purpose of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the skills and capability of the labor force in the Forks area and the West End.
n As a part of the Rural Telework Project of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the information will be used to attract prospective employers, and to help community development planners and others to create job opportunities and to identify training needs.
n In late October 2002, a selection of 1500 households in Forks (98331) and Beaver (98305) Washington were randomly selected and sent one envelope with two surveys along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The surveys were sent out in early November 2002. We asked that those members in the household 18 or older complete the survey. If there were more than two individuals in the household 18 and older, we asked that they have the two primary wage earners in the household complete the survey.
n The survey asked questions about employment status, job characteristics, job expertise and skills, training needs, and interest in new employment opportunities. The information from over 400 workforce surveys completed by residents of the Forks area has been entered into a database for analysis.
Preliminary Analysis
n Employment Status: About two-thirds of the people completing the survey were working either full or part-time. The majority of those not employed were either retired or living on social security. About 6 percent of the survey respondents were looking for work.
n Job Characteristics: Three quarters of the people reported they were employed and worked more than 30 hours a week. Almost 90 percent of these jobs were year-round and three-quarters were located in Forks. About two-thirds said they were satisfied with their job, were working as much as they liked, and felt their job utilized their education and experience. Service industries (health, education, social, and business services) were by far the largest job category reported (40 percent). The natural resource industries (agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining) and government were the two other categories accounting for more than 10 percent of the responses. Over 40 percent reported their current employer has employed them more than 9 years.
n Job Expertise and Skills: Management and office, administrative and clerical support, were the two areas where survey respondents reported they had the greatest amount of job expertise and experience. They had the least amount of expertise in the areas of architecture and engineering and production and manufacturing. A majority of the respondents said they were skilled or very skilled in the areas of written and verbal communication, customer service, and problem solving. Regarding personal computer skills, about a third said they were skilled or very skilled. Two-thirds had experience with office software applications and navigating the Internet. But only a small fraction had experience applying more advanced computer skills such as network and Website development, software support and development, database design and development, or hardware support.

Business and Technology Center
n Will become a permanent business incubator/after hours learning facility/ community tech center.
n Objective is to provide business related services (legal, accounting, consulting on business marketing, development, etc.) to all participants in person and via vid conferencing.
n Poised to acquire 6,000 sq. ft. CenturyTel facility currently under lease from CT for $1/year:
n Funding from Clallam County Opportunity Fund;
n Potential funding from VA/HUD Budget via Sen. Murray; and
n Negotiations underway on price.
n Tenants:
n Potential 4-5 person anchor tenant that is telecom dependent; and
n two businesses and lease of server space to another business.
n Needs identified:
n Remodel to include roof replacement; HVAC upgrade; internal improvements; and
n Financial support for initial staffing, which would then transition into the County’s incubator program.
n Examples of Programs that have occurred within the Facility
n Business programs aimed at helping local entrepreneurs understand the capabilities broadband affords them:
n Tech Tuesday’s; and
n Rainy Day Gamers.

Forks role in policy issues
n DNR Easement requirements
n Work with DNR staff to develop policies for various aquatic and upland crossings;
n Supported legislation for aquatic crossings; and
n Working towards a legislative solution regarding surveying requirements on uplands.
n S.1056 – Community Telecommunications Planning Act
n Part of drafting team for this piece of federal legislation introduced by Sen. Murray in 2001; and
n Continuing to support this legislation as it is reintroduced.
n Assisting other communities on rural telecom issues and working with providers
n Over a dozen presentations to various audiences on Forks experience/Lessons learned; and
FCC Commissioners to local communities.
n Tele-Health Policy issues
n City and Hospital worked for the formation of a state coalition working on tele-health policy issues; and
n FCH is one of the leaders in tele-health networks having established an open network with numerous sites.
n One of the leaders in the state on the use of video conferencing at all levels.
n Participant in various studies, formal and informal, regarding rural telecom initiatives.

ICN committee work plan for 2003
n Case studies / other publications
n Assist local business w/ analysis and use of technology to implement / expand businesses
n tech assistance for non/not for profits
n Conduct a business / economic census
n Work force assessment

n Acquisition
n Remodel
n Marketing materials

n UW to hire staff
n Development of the entrance
n Development of Hoh Tribe’s room
n Development of one other room
n Op Ed Pieces
n Use of Public Access Video Channel re: what is telework?
n Telework event in Forks in 2003
n ID potential teleworkers


Accomplishments for first two years:
n January 2000 CenturyTel selects Forks area for ICN Project
n March 2000 Vacant CenturyTel building acquired for Community Technology Center
n April 2000 ICN Community Vision Workshop draws nearly 150 people
n April 2000 Forks Members Testify at Combined FCC / UTC Field Hearing
n May 2000 Furniture and Computers for Technology Building donated by Bill and Kitty Sperry
n June 2000 Forks Community Members participate in Senator Murray's Rural Telecommunications Conference – photo
n July 2000 Microsoft donates software to Technology Center
n July 2000 UW/ONRC opens new Technology/Computer Lab
n August 2000 Technology Center named West End Business and Technology Center
n September 2000 Forks hosts Technology Fair at WEBTC
n September 2000 Peninsula College opens community computer labs in La Push & Neah Bay
n September 2000 Business Seminar at WEBTC - How to Find Niche Businesses that Succeed in Remote Areas
n October 2000 Business Seminar at WEBTC - Where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there
n November 2000 Forks Community Members participate in Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas Rural Telecommunications Summit
n January 2001 West Olympic Peninsula to participate in UW Rural Community Partnership Program
n January 2001 West Olympic Peninsula selected for Washington Rural TeleWork Project by WSU Energy Program
n January 2001 CenturyTel rolls out DSL services in Forks
n February 2001 Business Seminar at WEBTC - Where to Find the Money And How to Get It
n March 2001 WEBTC - Business Tenants locate in Technology Center
n April 2001 Funding secured to complete Fiber Optic loop on the Olympic Peninsula - The Sappho Gap
n May 2001 OLYNET.NET signs lease for ISP rack space for server room at WEBTC
n May 2001 Hospital District completes Telemedicine site expansions - now eleven Hospital District sites
n June 2001 CenturyTel reports nearly 100 Forks DSL service customer accounts in less than six months
n June 2001 Creation of a 501(c )(3) established to be eligible for foundation based funds
n June 2001Hospital installs CT Scan Radiology equipment and will utilize digital and Tele-Radiology for image / reading
n July 2001 Hospital District to create metropolitan network to Ancillary Departments and Clinics
n July 2001 Hospital District Clinics to integrate Clinical patient medical data with Hospital medical data
n July 2001 Forks-Web installs first Forks Web-Cam to promote traffic to it's web servers
n August 2001 Forks members participate in Senator Murray's TeleHealth Working Session in Sunnyside
n August 2001 Forks community members participate in WSU Rural TeleWork planning session
n September 2001 High school students establish the Rainy Day Gamers group that uses tech center every Friday night for a LAN instruction meeting followed by group gaming session
n February 2002 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation chooses Forks High School as their first rural, and only Washington, High Tech High School
n March 2002 Rainy Day Gamers receive a $500 cash grant from Bert Paul for use in upgrading WEBTC’s internal network
n April 2002 Governor Locke’s Task Force on Virtual Education holds community meeting and discussion in Forks as part of their fact finding efforts
n April 2002 City and Economic Development Council begin negotiations with CenturyTel for purchase of WEBTC – purse EDA funding for business incubator network.


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