First Phase of Community Court Launched

[Wilmington, DE, August 16, 2019] — The plaza in front of the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center was the site for the Second Annual Community Resource Center Fair. The event was open to the community and marked the formal opening of the Community Resource Center on the second floor of the courthouse and the launch of Phase One of the Wilmington Community Court.

“One year ago we introduced Wilmington – and Delaware – to our planned Community Court. Today we are following through on that introduction to unveil our new Community Resource Center and announce that Phase One of our Wilmington Community Court program has been put into effect. I’m particularly pleased that the Department of Labor will begin to help us fill out a big hole in our portfolio. For too many years, we have ignored the fact that for many offenders, the primary reason they reoffend is not that they have a drug problem or a mental health problem. The main reason they commit crimes is that they lack a good job. DOL’s participation is the first step in creating an effective and logical sequence of job readiness, training, and placement programming for offenders. The three letter word – J-O-B – has to be front and center as the community court effort gains momentum,” said Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr.

“The Delaware Department of Labor is extremely excited about this innovative partnership with the Delaware Courts. Connecting these low-level defendants with essential life, career, and training services before they develop an extensive criminal record will help them to become the productive and law abiding citizens that we know they can be, while saving taxpayer dollars in the long run. Some people just need a little extra help and we’re prepared to meet those needs head on,” said Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade.

Court of Common Pleas Chief Judge Alex J. Smalls, Secretary Cade, Governor John Carney’s Chief Policy Advisor Romain Alexander and Wilmington City Council President Hanifa Shabazz all briefly spoke on Friday to welcome the crowd to the event.

The Wilmington Community Court will handle low-level offenses with a goal of finding alternatives to fines and prison time in favor of sentences involving community service, employment programs, treatment programs or social services. In this way, the Community Court – which is a cooperative effort between the Superior Court, Court of Common Pleas, Family Court and Justice of the Peace Court – will seek to address the underlying issues that are the driving factors behind defendants’ criminal acts and break the cycle that leads to more serious criminal behavior before it starts. The cooperation between all of the Delaware Courts that handle criminal matters will ensure there is a “no wrong door” for defendants, meaning no matter how a person enters the system, they can be referred to Community Court if appropriate.

The Court of Common Pleas is set to begin making its first referrals to the Community Resource Center in the fall and other courts will join in over the next year. “Today marks the culmination of years of hard work by many people to make a Community Court in Delaware a reality. We are certain that this proactive, innovative court will help strengthen our communities and break the downward cycle of crime that sometimes brings the same faces before us – with the same problems – again and again. And so while this is an important milestone, it is just the start of the much more important – and harder – work to come,” said Chief Judge Smalls.

Ultimately, the Community Court will be located in facilities that are being constructed on the seventh floor of the courthouse. When work on the seventh floor is complete, it will also house Justice of the Peace Court 20, which will be moving from its current location at the Wilmington Police Headquarters building.

While the Community Resource Center was designed to be a place in-house, where a judge could refer defendants in need of treatment or services – as part of the courts’ partnership with the City of Wilmington – it will also be open to the broader community. Patrons do not have to be a defendant or involved in the court system in any way, in order to visit the Resource Center to seek assistance or gain access to its services.

For more information contact:

Kenneth Briscoe
Communications Coordinator
Delaware Department of Labor
(302) 761-8002

Governor Carney, Legislators Announce Bill to Assist Federal Workers

Loan program would protect federal workers and their families during government shutdown

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney and members of the Delaware General Assembly announced legislation on Tuesday to help federal workers who live in Delaware and are affected by the ongoing shutdown of the federal government.

House Bill 3, sponsored by House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, would provide state-guaranteed, low-interest loans to federal workers to help cover mortgage payments, medical bills, food costs, and other bills facing federal workers who are going without pay during the shutdown. Under the program, M&T Bank, in partnership with the West End Neighborhood House, has agreed to provide short-term loans available in all three counties.

“For federal workers, including many of our neighbors here in Delaware, bills don’t just stop coming because the federal government is shut down,” said Governor Carney. “These workers still have to take their families to the doctor, get groceries, pay the electric bill, and the mortgage. We ought to do what we can to help these workers and their families.”

“Through no fault of their own, hundreds of Delaware families are facing the prospect of trying to pay their bills without a paycheck coming in, even though many of them are still being forced to show up for work. That’s unconscionable,” said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, the lead sponsor of HB 3. “While we can’t do anything to end this manufactured shutdown, we can do something on a state level to help federal workers in Delaware get financial support so their everyday obligations do not turn into burdens and force drastic decisions.”

The State of Delaware estimates that roughly 500 federal workers live in Delaware and are not being paid as the shutdown continues.

M&T Bank would provide federal employees with short-term loans with no credit check required. West End Neighborhood House and the $tand By Me program would assist federal employees in completing loan applications and provide financial literacy coaching to help their families endure the effects of the shutdown.

“M&T understands the impact of the partial government shutdown on workers and their families in Delaware and we are glad to partner with West End and the State of Delaware to provide short-term, low interest loans to those impacted,” said Nick Lambrow, President of M&T Bank’s Delaware Region.

“We are impressed at how quickly our partners have developed a plan to help federal workers weather the government shutdown. For 136 years, West End has assisted families navigating unforeseen circumstances and is proud to partner with M&T Bank and the State of Delaware on such a creative and timely solution,” said Paul Calistro, Executive Director of West End Neighborhood House.

Last week, the Delaware Department of Labor announced that it had extended unemployment insurance protections to federal employees affected by the shutdown. The Department of Labor began accepting applications for unemployment benefits from federal employees on Friday.

“Since January 4, we’ve received about 80 applications for unemployment from federal employees that work at agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Treasury as well as the IRS,” said Cerron Cade, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “Because unemployment by definition and state law means that a person is not working through no fault of their own, those who are essential federal employees and still working wouldn’t qualify. They need money for gas and everyday bills. We applaud the legislators with their quick turnaround to pass a bill to help these and other federal workers.”


Federal Employees Directives On Unemployment Claims

In the event of a Federal government shutdown, Federal employees may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE). The UCFE program is administered by state unemployment insurance (UI) agencies acting as agents of the Federal government. The program is operated under the same terms and conditions that apply to regular state UI. In general, the law of the state in which an individual’s official duty station in Federal civilian service is located will be the state law under which an individual’s eligibility for benefits is determined.

Delaware started taking claims for federal employees on Friday.

What is the weekly amount of UCFE benefits paid, and how long do benefits last?
The maximum weekly benefit amount In Delaware is $330.00 for up to 26 weeks.

Who qualifies?
Due to Delaware Law, essential federal employees, who are still responsible for reporting to work will not qualify for unemployment benefits.

Section 3302-17 states that ‘unemployment exists and an individual is ‘unemployed’ in any week during which the individual performs no services and with respect to which no wages are payable to the inidividual.

Unfortunately these individuals who are still actively performing services on a full time basis are not eligible.

All other federal employees affected by the shutdown, who are not working through no fault of their own, can apply.

How and where to file:
To file an unemployment insurance claim, log on to and click the red/orange button “File An Unemployment Insurance Claim”. Or, visit your local unemployment office.

Claimants can apply:

  • on their home computer or any public computer
  • on their mobile phone
  • at any public library computer
  • at current Department of Labor locations

Office locations for Unemployment Insurance are:

  • Wilmington – 4425 N. Market Street
  • Dover – Blue Hen Corporate Center 655 S. Bay Road Suite 2H
  • Newark – Pencader Corporate Center 225 Corporate Blvd. Suite 108
  • Georgetown – 8 Georgetown Plaza, Suite 2

Claimants who want to file for benefits need the following information to apply:

  • Social security number
  • Last 18 months of employment history

For more information, unemployed Delawareans should contact their local Department of Labor offices (302)761-8446 Wilmington, (302)368-6600 Newark, (302)739-05461 Dover and (302)856-5611 Georgetown or visit

2019 Annual Prevailing Wage Survey

The Delaware Department of Labor is currently conducting its Annual Prevailing Wage Survey for state-funded construction projects.

On January 4, 2019, the Department mailed over 3000 survey forms to contractors. Completed survey forms must be postmarked or returned to the Department of Labor no later than February 8, 2019 for the data to be used in the calculation of Delaware Prevailing Wage Rates. On or before March 15, 2019, the Department shall publish its annual “Prevailing Wage Determination” which will be valid for a period of one year.

Survey instructions and forms are available to download or you may contact the Department at 302-761-8200.

The Department is also offering and encouraging reporting the information electronically at

Unemployment Line Goes Online

The Delaware Department of Labor Fox Valley location in Wilmington will no longer offer “counter service” for unemployment insurance claims beginning January 22, 2019. All unemployment insurance claims will be filed using the streamlined process available online at Individuals can file a claim using any computer or smart phone without the inconvenience of travelling to one of our offices.

The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s other locations will continue to offer counter service until March 11, 2019. After that, all claims will be done online.
• Dover – Blue Hen Corporate Center 655 S. Bay Road Suite 2H
• Newark – Pencader Corporate Center 225 Corporate Blvd. Suite 108
• Georgetown – 8 Georgetown Plaza, Suite 2

All other divisions at the Department of Labor will remain the same – Employment and Training, Industrial Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation will still offer workshops, appointments, and services onsite using the same delivery and processes.

This process for unemployment claims is more efficient, saves time for the unemployed worker (the claimant) and offers the ability to file at home on a computer or smart phone. A claimant can use any computer with internet access. Claimants can apply:
• on their home computer or any public computer
• on your mobile phone
• at any public library
• current Department of Labor locations will continue to have self-service computer workstations (kiosks). Staff will be available for assistance.

The option for claimants to file a new claim online has been available for years. Delaware is one of only two states that still offers the traditional “unemployment line” with in-person claims handled from the counter. This option generally takes longer and requires documentation.

How to file
The claimant who wants to file for benefits needs the following information to apply:
• Social security number
• Last 18 months of employment history

As part of the process, claimants are required to register with the Division of Employment and Training

Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade said, “This is just one piece of the puzzle as we continue to modernize the Department of Labor and improve our many services to tax payers.”

For more information, unemployed Delawareans should contact their local Department of Labor offices (302)761-8446 Wilmington, (302)368-6600 Newark, (302)739-05461 Dover and (302)856-5611 Georgetown.
To file an unemployment insurance claim, log on to and click the red/orange button “File An Unemployment Insurance Claim”.