While 2020 was a unique year in many ways, it particularly highlighted the need for basic internet connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those with children learning virtually or those who must work from home may not have easy or affordable access to the internet. However, Hargray Communications regional manager Brett Willis said his team had been involved in trying to reach out to those people to meet those needs.
Hargray is a South Carolina-based telecommunications provider and has been serving community residents in St. Clair and Talladega counties for nearly two years now.
“Having access to the internet is even more important than before,” Willis said. “I’m sure we haven’t reached as many people as we would like this year, but we are currently in contact with the State of Alabama to see how we can continue to help more.”
Willis said he hopes to continue to reach those who need the services provided by the company in the coming year by expanding the company’s factory while simply finding those who need their services the most. aid.
“When people come to us with free internet vouchers from the state that we don’t service, it gives us the opportunity to look into an area that we may not have thought of,” Willis said.
“There was so much uncertainty in 2020, but it really helped all of us achieve the mission we pursue, which is that we strive to enable communities to connect and thrive, and this past year has done that. made even more important to us.”
Like any other business during the pandemic, Hargray has also faced basic security issues. From the very beginning, the company has adhered to the motto “Proceed with great caution” and will continue to do so in 2021.
This includes the use of protective equipment such as masks and gloves while ensuring that staff and customers have not come into contact with anyone who is or may have been exposed to the virus before taking meetings.
“We come into daily contact with our customers and we want to do everything we can to seal things in advance,” Willis said. “If we have been in contact with someone who came into contact with him in house one, that means bringing him to house five.”
Although still relatively new to the area, Willis said the Pell City area has been extremely welcoming since the company arrived here in April 2019. Industry of the Year presented by the Pell City Area Chamber. Trade.
“It’s been one of the highlights of my career so far,” Willis said. “Being in town for a little over a year at that time and being recognized like that by the town was amazing.”
He thinks the main factor contributing to this recognition was simply the company’s efforts in community outreach. “I think once the community saw that we were here to grow with the community and help the community grow, they really made us feel like home.”