About The Innovation District

Where Chattanooga’s entrepreneurs, academics, and creatives collide. 

Events Calendar

Discover activities and events in the area.

Resiliency Checklist

Everything you need to prepare your organization for a crisis.

Small Business Supports

Helping small business owners across the region.

The Edney Innovation Center

The front door to the Innovation District of Chattanooga.

Tech Goes Home

Expanding access to technology and teaching digital literacy.

Digital Access Committee

Bringing together partners to close the digital divide, together.

HCS EdConnect

Home internet at no cost to thousands of families.

Connected Communities: Orchard Knob

The OKC leverages the collective support of partner organizations to tackle the whole picture of health and wellness in the historically underserved neighborhood.

Chattamatters

Answering the most basic and most complex questions about life in Chattanooga

EMPACT Program

Preparing residents for the jobs of tomorrow, and today. 

Chattanooga Smart Communities Collaborative

Working together to identify our region’s challenges and create solutions.

Environmental Sensors

Collecting and analyzing air quality data from across our region with US Ignite.

Education (4K Microscope & Lola)

High-tech tools in Hamilton County’s classrooms.

Community Connectivity

Expanding access to the internet in homes and neighborhoods.

Chattanooga and Hamilton County named a 2023 ‘Visionary Trailblazer’ for Digital Inclusion

image shows a road leading to a symbol to wifi and reads Digital Inclusion Trailblazers
Members of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga's team pose at a community event.

Region meets all seven criteria to earn award alongside 22 other U.S. municipalities

Chattanooga and Hamilton County earned the 2023 Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer Award from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. The community has won the distinction four years in a row, recognizing a continued commitment to digital literacy leadership and expanded access for all residents.

According to NDIA, “The places selected as Trailblazers provide models to aspire to, demonstrating how local governments can support their own digital inclusion ecosystems.” 

Driven by innovative partners like Hamilton County Schools and the Chattanooga Public Library, as well as model initiatives like Tech Goes Home CHA; HCS EdConnect, powered by EPB; EMPACT and other local initiatives that prioritize access to wi-fi, affordable devices and resources to help residents improve quality of life, the Visionary Trailblazer Award recognizes Chattanooga and Hamilton County “as leading the way in digital inclusion innovation”.

To earn the title, municipalities have to earn a minimum of five points to qualify as a Trailblazer, and eighteen to earn the Visionary designation. Chattanooga-Hamilton County met that highest bar, alongside 22 other communities across the country, including Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Denver, CO; Portland, OR; and Nashville and Davidson County, TN. 

“As residents of Chattanooga and Hamilton County we can be proud of the impact our digital inclusion efforts have had in our community,” said The Enterprise Center CEO Deb Socia.  “This award is a testament to the commitment of our elected leaders and the hard work of many partners and community members who understand how critical it is to be connected.”

Trailblazers are judged based on criteria showing a city or county’s digital inclusion leadership, and cities have been vying for a place on the list since the honor was re-launched in 2020 with open applications. 

HCS EdConnect, powered by EPB, a partnership between the city, county, Hamilton County Schools, EPB and The Enterprise Center that provides high speed broadband service to more than 17,000 HCS students and their families, was a key component to receiving the Trailblazer distinction. Tech Goes Home, another program of The Enterprise Center that provides digital skills training across the region, celebrated a milestone of 10,000 graduates earlier this year.

“Whether a household’s needs are school resources, telehealth appointments, or to just be able to access news and family members far away, our community is strengthened when we can keep people connected,” Socia said.

Communities will be formally recognized at NDIA’s annual Net Inclusion conference, held February 13-15.