Today, NDIA named 47 local governments as 2023 Digital Inclusion Trailblazers, recognizing their essential efforts in closing the digital divide. 

Spanning 23 states, these communities demonstrate the important role municipal, county, and regional governments have in digital inclusion. 

Along with the list, NDIA launched a valuable resource with an open, searchable collection of 591 resources and documents from all of the 2023 Trailblazer awardees. Those resources, which make best practices free and available, include job descriptions, program information, local digital equity plans, and more from local governments paving the way for digital equity for their residents.

“Nonprofits, libraries, churches, and other community organizations can’t reach digital equity on their own. For everyone to thrive in today’s digital world, we need all hands on deck,” said Angela Siefer, NDIA executive director. “NDIA’s Digital Inclusion Trailblazers exemplify the key role local governments have in building connected communities for all of their residents.”

NDIA revised the seven-year-old program this year to reflect current best practices in the rapidly growing digital inclusion field. Each applicant and the materials they submitted have been verified for accuracy and impact on their communities.

NDIA also introduced a new scoring system with two levels of recognition for Trailblazer awardees. NDIA named 22 of the winners Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazers for scoring 18 or more points in the evaluation.

Trailblazers provide models for other local governments to aspire to as communities build digital inclusion ecosystems. Researchers, digital inclusion advocates, and other aspiring local government leaders can see the full list of awardees and resources in an interactive map and searchable database

“The City’s work to bridge the digital divide would not be possible without the commitment and engagement of our organizational partners and community members,” said Genesis D. Gavino, Chief of Staff and Resilience Officer for the city of Dallas. “It’s our honor to receive this recognition as a testament to what we have accomplished together and the work we have ahead of us.”  NDIA will recognize the Digital Inclusion Trailblazers in person February 13-15, 2024 at the Net Inclusion conference in Philadelphia, which is set to be the largest-ever digital equity convening. 

See the full list here and learn more about the Trailblazer program and start planning your application for next year. Stay tuned with our community and join NDIA today.

Trailblazers is sponsored by Ready.Net