Governor Carney Announces Major Investment in Wilmington Schools

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney joined members of the General Assembly and public education advocates at Stubbs Early Education Center on Wednesday to announce major new investments in Wilmington schools.

When he releases his Fiscal Year 2021 budget, Governor Carney will propose $50 million to fund a new school on the east side of Wilmington to replace The Bancroft School – the first new city school in a generation. Governor Carney also is proposing major renovations to Stubbs Early Education Center and The Bayard School. Governor Carney will release his budget proposal on Thursday, January 30, at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover.

“Children need to go to school every day in environments that are safe and conducive to learning. Since I was sworn in as Governor three years ago, we have built or renovated nearly 30 schools statewide. Wilmington students deserve no less,” said Governor Carney. “We’ve heard loud and clear the concerns from families and educators about conditions in these buildings, and we are taking action. We look forward to working closely with Christina, and members of the community, to plan and build a state-of-the-art school to replace Bancroft, and to renovate Bayard and Stubbs. This is a major investment in the children of our city and state.”

Governor Carney, legislators, and advocates also toured the new Dual Generation Center at Stubbs on Wednesday. The facility provides pre-K and kindergarten for Wilmington children on the first floor and services for adults – including job-related support and social services – on the second floor. The center also has a clothing closet and food pantry. At Elbert-Palmer Elementary, Gulftainer is working with the International Longshoremen’s Association to build a workforce training facility for future Port of Wilmington workers.

The State of Delaware also is making major investments in the classroom. Last year, Governor Carney and members of the General Assembly passed a three-year, $75 million Opportunity Funding initiative. For the first time in Delaware history, Opportunity Funding is providing targeted funding for low-income students and English learners, as well as additional mental health and reading supports. To date, districts have hired more than 200 teachers, paraprofessionals, and behavioral health staff to support students and educators statewide.

“This is an exciting day for schools here in Wilmington and I want to commend Governor John Carney for taking important and long-needed steps to put real dollars towards the education of the students of our city,” said Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman. “Schools are more than brick and mortar. They are a beacon in a community, symbolizing our collective hope for a brighter future, and this investment stands as a testament that our state is engaging with our hopes for the students of Wilmington.”

“This historic announcement in our City signals a commitment of where we want to go as a state. Schools provide the building blocks for student success, and this historic investment in state-of-the-art City schools will support the true mission of education with power and passion. I thank Governor Carney, our City leaders, legislators, educators and activists for their continued advocacy for our children,” said Representative Nnamdi Chukwuocha.“This investment, this mission with all of the stakeholders and districts, is just one part of a mosaic for greater outcomes for our children.”

“This capital investment in the Christina Wilmington Schools is a long time coming, and much needed,” said DSEA President Stephanie Ingram. “Our students deserve to learn in an educational environment that meets their needs. Bright, up-to-date classrooms help our students, and our educators, and shows them that we care about their educational needs. We are thankful that the Governor and Legislators stood up today to bring this funding forward.”

“The Governor’s commitment to education throughout the State and especially to the children of Wilmington tells us a lot about who he is and the priorities he has set for his Administration,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Our children need every possible advantage in order to succeed in school and in life. We look to our Governor and General Assembly for leadership and thank them for providing it in this important arena.”

###


Governor Carney, Legislators Announce Major Investments in Clean Water

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride joined advocates and members of the General Assembly on Tuesday to announce significant new investments in clean water across Delaware.

The Clean Water for Delaware Act — sponsored by Representative Longhurst and Senator McBride — will create a Delaware Clean Water Trust to help rebuild Delaware’s drinking water infrastructure, prevent flooding in vulnerable communities, and keep contamination out of our waterways.

The Trust will be initially funded with $50 million in Governor Carney’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget. Governor Carney will release his budget proposal on Thursday, January 30, at the Delaware Public Archives.

“From the Brandywine Creek to the Inland Bays, we have special natural places in our state. Water is Delaware’s most basic and valuable resource, and we should protect that resource for future generations,” said Governor Carney. “We also need to make sure that all Delaware families have access to clean drinking water. Delawareans deserve clean water. It’s as simple as that.”

“This is a monumental piece of legislation for Delaware that impacts a resource we simply cannot live without: water. The time to protect our waterways, support our stormwater systems and ensure clean, healthy drinking water to our residents is now,” said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, chief sponsor of the Clean Water for Delaware Act. “I’ve traveled up and down the state talking to Delawareans about how we need to protect our natural resources. This is an issue of environmental justice. Clean drinking water, safe waterways, updated infrastructure and adequate wastewater treatment are not luxuries; they are necessities. What we are doing today is taking a huge step forward toward securing our future and ensuring that our children and grandchildren have those necessities of life.”

“No community in Delaware should live in fear of polluted water and failing wastewater systems,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride. “Yet across our great state, hundreds of our residents must be leery of the water they drink and the fish they catch. As we enter our third straight year of surpluses, the time has come to take action. I want to thank Governor John Carney for working with the General Assembly to find the revenue we need to begin addressing this problem today. Our vulnerable communities simply cannot wait any longer.”

“I want to commend Governor John Carney for taking this critical step to secure our public health, our environment, our economy, and our way of life,” said Senator Bryan Townsend. “Today, a large number of Delaware’s waterways have become polluted, whole communities cannot drink their tap water, and the majority of wastewater infrastructure desperately needs to be replaced. This funding is a step in the right direction.”

The Clean Water for Delaware Act will require an annual strategic planning process, and will place a new emphasis on infrastructure projects in low-income, underserved communities. In the first year, $50 million in state funding will leverage significant federal investment in Delaware’s water quality.  

“Ninety percent of Delaware’s waterways are polluted or impaired. Nearly five years ago Delaware Nature Society founded the Clean Water Campaign as a statewide coalition to secure funding to improve Delaware’s water quality. The coalition and our Water Warriors have been with us every step of the way. This new proposal is a giant step toward clean water in Delaware,” said Anne Harper, Executive Director of the Delaware Nature Society. “Clean water is critical to Delaware’s economy, environment, wildlife, food supply and public health.  We look forward to working with Governor Carney, Rep. Longhurst, Senator McBride, Senator Townsend, the General Assembly and our Water Warrior volunteers to secure the proposed $50 million in clean water funding.”

“Economic development starts with infrastructure investment,” said Dave DuPlessis, President of the American Council of Engineering Companies-Delaware. “Clean water and sustainable water infrastructure is often taken for granted and the cost of service is frequently underestimated.  We are grateful that the Governor and leaders of the General Assembly recognize the value of this investment to our quality of life and the economy. Thank you to Governor Carney, Rep. Longhurst and Sen. McBride for creating a program that makes Delaware cleaner and safer while adding much needed infrastructure to our state which will have positive impacts on our economy for years to come.”

“The Delaware Rural Water Association is a nonprofit trade association that works with every water and wastewater facility in the State of Delaware in maintaining compliance,” said Rick Duncan, Executive Director of the Delaware Rural Water Association. “Having this type of resource of funding will play a vital role in our small community water systems that are having difficulty seeking those funds to support infrastructure needs and maintain compliance.”

Dian Taylor, CEO and President of Artesian Water Company said “Artesian supports the Governor’s Clean Water initiative. It has been our commitment for over the last hundred years and we adamantly believe that everyone has the right to clean safe drinking water. We commend the Governor’s efforts to protect our State’s most essential resource.”

 

“PDE is excited about Governor Carney’s proposed Clean Water Trust initiative that will provide new resources to improve and protect Delaware’s precious water resources,” said Kathy Klein, Executive Director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. “Strategic use of this funding will help to address long standing challenges and implement clean water goals and strategies in the Delaware Estuary Program’s Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan.” 

“As a global leader in the provision of environmental services, SUEZ supports this effort to protect our most precious natural resource, clean water,” said Larry Finnicum, Director of SUEZ Delaware Operations.

“Clean water is essential now and for future generations, and we commend Governor Carney and our state legislators who have committed to make water quality a top priority in 2020,” said Sherri Evans-Stanton, Director of the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club.  “Our residents, visitors and businesses deserve safe drinking water and the Governor’s pledge to dedicate $50 million in funds will provide momentum to address Delaware’s clean water efforts. Given the degree to which our state economy, from agriculture to tourism, depends on clean water it is imperative to keep moving forward.  Most of all, we want to thank Governor Carney for his leadership to assist communities that often lack funding necessary to clean up their water.”

###


Governor Carney Nominates Kathleen Amalfitano as Court of Common Pleas Judge in Kent County

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday nominated Kathleen Amalfitano to serve as a Court of Common Pleas Judge in Kent County.

Amalfitano’s nomination must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate.

“Kathleen’s experience and commitment to legal service in Delaware has given her the background and judgment necessary to serve on the Court of Common Pleas in Kent County,” said Governor Carney. “I am pleased to submit her nomination to the Delaware Senate for confirmation, and look forward to the Senate’s vote.”

Since 1999, Amalfitano has served as Assistant Supervising Attorney in the Office of Defense Services. In addition to overseeing the Kent County Office of Defense Services, Amalfitano represents clients in criminal matters before the Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas. Amalfitano also represents litigants in the Veteran’s Court and Mental Health Court for Superior Court. Previously, she served as a Legal Advisor in the Insurance Commissioner’s Office and as an Assistant County Attorney in the New Castle County Department of Law. Amalfitano also has experience in private practice as an Associate with Brown, Shiels and Chasanov, and she clerked in Family Court.

Amalfitano is an active member of the Delaware Army National Guard, and provides Legal Assistance to all members of the Delaware Air and Army National Guard covering a wide range of matters.   

Amalfitano graduated from Mount Pleasant High School, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware, and earned her law degree from Widener University School of Law.

###


Delaware Farmers’ Markets Continue to Grow in Popularity

Governor Carney declares Delaware Agriculture Week January 13 through January 17, 2020

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Department of Agriculture on Thursday announced Delaware farmers’ markets hit an all-time high sales record of $3.28 million in 2019. The announcement comes during the 15th Annual Delaware Agriculture Week held at the State Fairgrounds in Harrington, a week-long conference that covers agricultural operations in Delaware and provides critical updates, research, and training for members of the industry. Governor Carney issued a proclamation declaring the week of January 13 to January 17,  2020 as “Delaware Agriculture Week.”

Click here to view the proclamation.

“Delaware has a rich farming history, and agriculture remains our number one industry. It’s no surprise Delaware’s farmers markets continue to gain popularity with Delawareans and visitors to the state who want to purchase local, Delaware grown foods and farm-fresh products from family farms,” said Governor Carney. “Agriculture contributes $8 billion to Delaware’s economy, and we’ve permanently preserved 25 percent of Delaware’s farmland so that agriculture will continue to be the backbone of our economy.”

Delaware’s Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse said in a time when ordering groceries using an app and picking up curbside is popular, these figures are indicative of how much people value the connection with the farmers growing their food.

“Looking at 2019, the weather was cooperative, and our farmers had a lot of great produce to sell at our local farmers’ markets,” said Scuse. “Delaware produce is seasonal and changes from month to month, week to week. The variety of Delaware grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and other items provides a lot of options for consumers who want to eat healthy.”

Sales from all 19 Delaware community-run farmers’ markets this year totaled $3,277,788, up more than $394,086 from 2018 – an increase of 13.7 percent. Sales have increased more than elevenfold since the Department of Agriculture began tracking them in 2007.

Fresh produce made up 57 percent of total sales, with the remainder coming from products such as meats, cheeses, jellies, breads, salsa, eggs, or honey.

In 2019, there were 14 markets that participated in the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the Women, Infants, and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Both programs had their highest participation since Delaware began offering these benefits. There were 9 markets that participated in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). These programs help expand access for low-income residents to be able to purchase fresh local produce at Delaware farmers’ markets. 

Delaware farmers’ markets are all run at the local level, by municipalities, business groups, farmers or market associations, with the Department of Agriculture providing support and marketing assistance.

The 2020 market season will begin in April; most markets start their operations in May, June, and July. A list of the 2019 markets is online at Delaware Grown, and will be updated in late March for 2020.

###


Governor Carney, Division of Small Business Award EDGE Grants to 10 Delaware Companies

Deadline for Spring 2020 EDGE Grants is February 28, 2020

WILMINGTON, Del. – A bio-based materials company, a maker of wearable medical sensors, and a bakery-café were among the 10 Delaware small businesses recognized Thursday as awardees of the second round of EDGE Grants from the state Division of Small Business.

Governor John Carney, Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, and Division of Small Business Director Damian DeStefano announced the companies at an event Thursday at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington.

“It is incredible to see what the innovative entrepreneurs in this state are accomplishing,” said Governor Carney. “Their companies span a wide range of industries, but the one thing the owners share is the drive and determination necessary to start then grow their businesses. I am glad the State is able to support their work through initiatives like the EDGE Grant program.”

EDGE Grants provide a 3-to-1 match for each dollar an eligible business spends on qualified expenses that improve the company’s long-term chances of success, from market analysis to website design to acquiring essential equipment.

The State awarded grants this round to 10 companies, listed below. Five STEM Class companies are receiving a total of $495,000, and five Entrepreneur Class businesses are receiving a total of $216,000.

“EDGE Grants are helping to level the playing field for promising Delaware small companies as they compete with more established, larger businesses,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “And this program is just one of the many ways the Division of Small Business, since it was created under the Department of State three years ago, has made a strong, positive impact on the state’s economy by assisting hardworking business owners.”

EDGE launched in May, and the first grant round took place over the summer. In the second round, which opened in September, almost 100 businesses applied for funding.

Sixteen finalists – eight STEM Class and eight Entrepreneur Class – gave public presentations before a panel of expert judges on December 18 and 19 at Delaware Tech in Dover, after which five winners in each category were chosen.

“Several companies that applied in the first round but were not successful in winning a grant took advantage of the opportunity to work with the Division’s business resource managers to strengthen their applications for this time around,” said Division Director Damian DeStefano. “That is what this program is about. The grant funding is incredibly important to those who win, but EDGE also provides a way for all applicants learn how to improve their businesses.”

The Division of Small Business is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2020 round of EDGE Grants. Visit www.delbiz.com for eligibility requirements and to download the application. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

 

EDGE Round Two Recipients:

STEM class

2M LLC (Wilmington)
This company makes an extremely fast-charging and safe battery, which can enable a less than 10-minute charge for E-mobility applications, such as enabling an electric vehicle to go 200 miles on a 10-minute charge. 2M will use the grant to scale up production to meet customer demand.

4th Phase Water Technologies (Wilmington)
This company is focused on commercializing binder-free carbon nanotube sheets made using its proprietary processes. The sheets are superior filtration/separation membranes and electromagnetic interference shielding material for a host of industries including bioprocessing, defense, consumer electronics and automotive. The company will use its grant to acquire additional lab equipment and for marketing.

Lignolix (Wilmington)
This company is developing sustainable products from biomass, such as that which is produced in beer manufacturing. It will use the grant to scale up its chemical process, increase production capacity and attract larger commercial customers.

MCET Technologies (Wilmington)
This company developed a way of integrating sensors into textiles that can be used to monitor a patient during physical rehabilitation. It will use the grant to scale up manufacturing to increase production and expand applications.

Veramorph Materials (Wilmington)
This company developed a hydrogel-based system that allows the body to absorb pharmaceuticals more efficiently. It will use its grant for critical equipment for R&D services for pharmaceutical companies and to conduct toxicology studies.

 

Entrepreneur class

Best Music Coach (Dover)
This company offers online music lessons for voice and various instruments including guitar and piano. It will use its grant to upgrade its online platform and add online learning materials.

Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop (Milford)
This bakery-café will use the grant to upgrade its equipment and market its new services and a second Milford location scheduled to open later this year.

Fur Baby Tracker (Wilmington)
This woman-owned company will use its grant to roll out the mobile app it developed that lets pet parents track the progress of their cat or dog’s treatment during a stay at a veterinary hospital.

Volunteer Brewing Company (Middletown)
This family-owned craft brewing company located in downtown Middletown will use its grant to purchase new brewing and fermentation equipment to expand production.

WilmInvest (Wilmington)
This company purchases and renovates single-family homes in Wilmington which it leases to nonprofits and governmental entities to house families in need of housing and supportive services. It will use the grant to purchase and renovate additional homes.

###