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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
Friday, October 1, 1999, 1:30 p.m.

Teleconference Sites:
The Atrium, Nebraska Public Service Commission Conference Room, 1200 N St., 3rd Floor, Lincoln
McKinley Education Center, 301 West F Street, Room 1, North Platte
Northeast Community College, MaClay Building, Room 122, Norfolk
State Office Building, 1313 Farnam on the Mall, 3rd Floor, Omaha

Approved Minutes

Members Present

LINCOLN SITE:Ted Schultz, Nebraska Association of Hospitals; Gary Warren, Hamilton Telecommunications; Craig Schroeder, Nebraska Rural Development Commission; Bob Sweeney, AIM Institute; Stu Miller, Department of Economic Development; Sue Volk, Midwest Microsystems; Anne Boyle, Public Service Commission; Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library; Donna Hammack, Good Samaritan Hospital
NORTH PLATTE SITE: Gerry Kluch, Kaystar Seed; Russ Pankonin, Imperial Republican
OMAHA SITE: Tyler French, Ameritrade
NORFOLK SITE: Lance Hedquist, City of South Sioux City; Ted Smith, Norfolk Public Library

Members Absent: Reba Benschoter, Ron Heezen, Gary Kiel, Michael Nolan, Rick Nolan, Ann Stephens

Others Present: LINCOLN SITE: Cyd Janssen, Michael Winkle, Anne Byers, Lori Lopez Urdiales, Steve Schafer, Tom Rolfes, Scott Barryman. NORFOLK: Jim McKenzie

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Co-chair, Donna Hammack, at 1:35. Ms. Hammack asked for corrections and/or additions to the August 26th minutes. Ms. Boyle motioned to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Ms. Saathoff. All were in favor. Motion was carried. Ms. Byers announced that notice of the public meeting was given by electronic means. The date, time, location and agenda was posted September 22, 1999. The agenda was revised and posted September 27, 1999.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There was no public comment given.

UPDATE ON COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP and COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY FUND GRANTS: Ms. Byers informed the council members that she has been unable to reach Judi Morgan but will continue to make contact.

The Panhandle Area Development District has requested to use the balance of their monies to host a photo library for public use. Concern was expressed that the proposed photo library was outside the scope of the original project. Discussion followed. Mr. Kluch motioned to have the Panhandle Area Development District return the unused funds to the Community Technology Fund. The motion was seconded by Ms. Saathoff. Roll Call Vote: Boyle-Yes, French-Yes, Hammack-Yes, Hedquist-Yes, Kluch-Yes, Miller-Yes, Volk-Yes, Pankonin-Yes, Saathoff-Yes, Schroeder-Yes, Schultz-Yes, Smith-Yes, Sweeney-Yes, Warren-Yes. Motion carried.

NITC UPDATE - Michael Winkle, NITC Executive Director: The NITC met on August 30th. The following parts of the Statewide Technology Plan were approved by the NITC: Goals; Sector Priorities; Part 1.E Customer Service Policy; Part 2.D Technical Panel Charter; Part 2.B Advisory Group Guidelines; Part 3.A Process for Preparing, Reviewing and Updating Standards and Requirements; and Part 4.A Overview of Planning and Project Management.

Commissioners recommended a rating system for Part 4.D Project Proposal Forms and Part 4.E Assessment Document for Project Proposals. Staff will be developing these sections for approval at the November NITC meeting.

Also approved at the NITC meeting was the Community Councils recommendation for the Community Technology Fund Guidelines and funding for the TINA Study.


PRIORITY: Ensuring access to public and private services for all citizens of the State of Nebraska (regardless of impediment--i.e., location and socio-economic status) through the appropriate and efficient use of information technology.

Action Plan Items: Support access to information services for underserved populations through public access sites in libraries, schools, and other publicly accessible locations. Subcommittee members: Ted Smith, Ron Heezen, Jeanne Saathoff. Ms. Byers reported the following recommendations.

Facilities: Conduct a community by community assessment of public access sites. Support the development of community information technology learning centers.

Mr. Winkle recommended developing this concept and survey further for presentation to the NITC at the November meeting.

Training: What are the basic competencies? Inventory self-directed learning modules. Include information on free e-mail sites in training programs. Support community training programs.

Legislative Action: Enable ESUs and schools to open doors to public for computer training and public access. Make technology access part of the state's library accreditation process. Ease the regulations guiding equipment disposal at the municipal level.

Action Plan Item: Conduct a telehealth feasibility study. Subcommittee Members: Donna Hammack, Len Benson, Ted Schultz and other telehealth subcommittee members.

Mr. Schultz reported that the draft proposal for the study is nearly finished and hope to have it finalized by the next meeting. Currently the subcommittee is researching sources for conducting the survey. Ten to twelve community from across the state will be selected. Some communities will have telehealth services and some will not.

Action Plan Item: Develop an information technology lifelong learning plan (which includes traditional, formal providers as well as non-traditional, non-formal providers such as libraries) in partnership with the Education Council. Subcommittee members: Ron Heezen and Ted Smith.

Ms. Byers reported that the Education Council has already selected members to work with the Community Council on the action plan item - Alan Wibbels and Richard Gilliland. Jeanne Saathoff and Bob Sweeney will work the Education Council members.

PRIORITY: Promoting the development of an infrastructure (including sufficient bandwidth) that is secure, affordable, reliable, and responsive to the specific needs of various sectors. Efforts should be made to ensure that systems across the state are compatible.

Action Plan Item: Co-sponsor the Telecommunications Infrastructure Needs Assessment (TINA) Study.

This is already in process.

PRIORITY: Developing a workforce knowledgeable of and fluent in the use and applications of information technology. Efforts should be made to promote the recruitment and retention of IT professionals within the state.

Action Plan Item: Improve the recruitment, retention, and skill development of IT professionals. Subcommittee members: Gary Kiel and Bob Sweeney. Mr. Sweeney reported the following recommendations from the subcommittee.

Fund an IT loan/scholarship program for Nebraska college students with repayment forgiven in exchange for full-time Nebraska employment following graduation.

Encourage internship programs in both business and academic communities. Postsecondary departments and programs should be encouraged to require internships as a requirement for graduation. Scholarships could require an internship as a condition of the scholarship.

Support new legislation that prevents interns from filing successful unemployment claims upon leaving the internship.

Develop measures to document changes in business requirements for key employment classifications for Nebraska employers.

Conduct "exit interviews" for new college graduates that leave the state for employment.

Develop and support IT training and career awareness programs in secondary schools (middle, junior high, and high schools). Examples of successful secondary programs include: CyberCamps for high school and junior high school students; Junior Achievement programs with an e-commerce emphasis; Project Business--places local business leaders in junior high class discussing business/economics; and CISCO certification program in high schools.

Support and encourage career training opportunities for workers, business owners, and entrepreneurs, including e-commerce training programs for small businesses.

Encourage the development of regional state chapters of professional organizations.

Ms. Saathoff suggested including persons already living in Nebraska who plan to stay in the state who are looking for a career change with or without a degree.

PRIORITY: Facilitating IT development and innovation by raising awareness, sharing information, encouraging collaboration, and developing partnerships among public and between public and private entities.

Action Plan Item: Determine regulatory barriers to IT development in the state and develop strategies to address these barriers in partnership with the Government Council. Subcommittee members: The Community Council will address this issue as a group.

Action Plan Item: Support local information technology committees in order to stimulate community-based IT efforts and encourage strategic planning. Subcommittee members:Reba Benschoter, Lance Hedquist, and Craig Schroeder. Ms. Byers reviewed the following suggestings from the committee.

Communications: Update list of Community Information Technology Committees; establish a listserv/Web site; success stories--award Outstanding 100/Top 10 IT efforts; help community leaders/visionaries engage their communities; Market existing resources--WOW van; and NTEC.

Develop Resources: Human resources--need someone in the field; utilize train the trainer model; encourage DED to work with communities; partner with libraries to develop a list of good IT reference materials that libraries should obtain; work with NET to develop a rural technology documentary; training for bankers; and Nebraska Futures museum.

Action Plan Item: Support IT efforts which respond to the rural crisis (i.e., telework, direct ag marketing through the Internet, and/or other initiatives). Subcommittee members: Sue Volk, Gerry Kluch, Craig Schroeder. Ms. Volk reported the following recommendations from the committee.

Support telework opportunities in rural areas

Work with AIM to have telework jobs as a separate category on CareerLink.

Sponsor the development of a state Web site of resources for agricultural producers.

Mr. Schafer informed the group that LR210 calls for an Interim Study Resolution to look at the issues relating to telework. There is a hearing November 5th at 8:30 a.m. Several members from the council will be testifying.

Action Plan Item: Co-sponsor, in cooperation with the Nebraska Intergovernmental Data Communications Advisory Council (NIDCAC), a study of local government IT coordination needs. Subcommittee members:Ted Schultz, Ann Stephens, Gary Kiel, and Lance Hequist.

Action Plan Item: Create synergistic critical masses of IT professionals in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of the state. Subcommittee member: Gary Warren.

Develop a set of IT economic development benchmarks which can be used to chart the state's progress in adapting to the emerging digital economy.

Encourage the development of technology parks across the state.

Educate communities and businesses about the impact of IT on the economy and society.

Action Plan Item: Develop an economic impact analysis of information technology. Subcommittee Members: Gary Warren, Darl Naumann, Stu Miller, and Bob Sweeney.

Mr. Miller reported that it would be difficult to develop such an instrument. The subcommittee discussed doing case studies as possibility.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF ACTION PLAN: For the next meeting, subcommittees were asked to further develop the action plan items and be ready to prioritize which action items will be the focus. This will need to be presented to the NITC at their November meeting.

NEW BUSINESS: Mr. Schafer informed the council that the E-Goverment Conference sponsored by the Governor, Secretary of State and the NITC was well attended. The Governor, Attorney General, and State Treasurer addressed the group. Mr. Schafer has met with Senator Wickersham and local telephone companies to determine their input on how communities can develop relationships with phone companies to better serve infrastructure needs. Providers and community leaders will meet on November 2nd in Alliance.

NEXT MEETING DATE AND TIME: The next meeting dates are set for Friday, November 5, 1999, 1:30 p.m. in Lincoln (so that members may attend the hearings) and Monday, December 6, 1999, 1:30 p.m. location to be determined. The meeting was adjourned by Ms. Hammack at 3:30 p.m.

Minutes taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales, CIO/NITC Administrative Assistant and reviewed by Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager, CIO/NITC.

Meeting Minutes