This week I was privileged to deliver my 8thstate of the state address to my fellow Delawareans. Thinking back to my first address I’m reminded that we faced a collapsing national economy and a growing deficit at a time of rapidly increasing demand for public services. So we all got to work, improving our business climate and making difficult decisions to balance our budgets. We’ve made substantial progress.
Since then Delaware has added more than 50,000 jobs. Local businesses have found new global markets. And thousands of Delawareans have access to new training opportunities for in-demand fields that pay competitive salaries.
Today, the state of our state is stronger than it has been in years. But we expect more, and that’s why I’m looking ahead with new proposals that build on our progress. A skilled workforce is a key to driving economic growth in our new technology-driven economy. We’re expanding partnerships that teach computer programming and provide training opportunities at growing local companies for thousands of high school students. I’m advocating legislation that builds a more welcoming business environment by helping small businesses gain access to capital and modernizing our tax code to promote job creation. And we’ll review professional licensing requirements to lower barriers to those entering these fields. Our educational system is positioning young people for success better than ever, from teaching proficiency in foreign languages, to achieving record high graduation rates, and improving access to college. We’re taking additional steps to attract and retain high quality teachers as well as expand access to high-quality early learning programs.
By continuing to make these and other investments we’ll give every Delawarean the tools and knowledge to build a bridge to the life they want and deserve. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.