Governor Carney Announces Appointments to Board of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Public-private partnership will lead economic development, business marketing and recruitment for Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday announced appointments to the board of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership – the public-private partnership that will lead Delaware’s economic development efforts, and business marketing and recruitment for the state. Board members represent a cross-section of Delaware’s economy – with representatives from Delaware’s financial industry, leading corporations, the nonprofit sector, higher education, and the legal community.

Governor Carney will co-chair the partnership’s board alongside Rod Ward, President of CSC.

“Collectively, this group of leaders from across our state will ensure that Delaware is positioned to create good-paying jobs, to attract talent, and to lead in a 21st century economy,” said Governor Carney. “As co-chair, I will remain closely involved in the direction of the partnership, and Delaware’s economic development efforts. And we will focus on promoting innovation, attracting technology-focused jobs to Delaware, connecting entrepreneurs with available resources, and building a talented workforce. Thank you to Rod Ward for agreeing to co-chair this group, and to all of those who have agreed to serve.”

“We are extremely pleased with the Governors foresight and leadership in establishing a public-private partnership to expand economic development here in Delaware,” said Ward. “Increasing business community involvement and support was one of the major recommendations of the Delaware Business Roundtable’s Delaware Growth Agenda. The board appointed by the Governor for the Delaware Prosperity Partnership is ready to roll up their sleeves and work to attract new business and entrepreneurs into our state.”

Governor Carney, who took office in January, has made it a top priority to restructure Delaware’s economic development efforts, and strategically partnering with the private sector on economic growth was a key recommendation of the Governor’s Action Plan for Delaware. Last month, Governor Carney signed House Bill 226, creating the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and a new division within the Department of State to support small business growth.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership – which will be run day-to-day by a chief executive officer and a full-time staff – will lead business marketing efforts for the state, with a focus on attracting early-stage and technology-focused businesses, recruitment of large employers, and expansion of international business opportunities for Delaware companies. Its leaders also will work with employers and Delaware educators to fill key talent gaps in the state. The state will jointly fund the partnership’s operations with private business.

 

Partnership board members include:

Governor John Carney (co-chair)

  • Rod Ward, President, CSC (co-chair)
  • Desmond Baker, Founder, Desmond A. Baker & Associates
  • Alan Brangman, Executive Vice President, University of Delaware
  • Patrick Callahan, Founder, CompassRed
  • Eric Cheek, Associate Vice President, Delaware State University
  • Doneene Damon, Executive Vice President, Richards, Layton, & Finger
  • Jeanmarie Desmond, Co-Controller, DowDuPont
  • Robert Herrera, Co-Founder, The Mill
  • Nick Lambrow, President of Delaware Region, M&T Bank
  • Senator Greg Lavelle, Delaware State Senate
  • Greg Moore, Vice President, Becker Morgan Group
  • Lori Palmer, Ventures Executive Leader, Trellist Marketing Technology
  • Rob Rider, CEO, O.A. Newton
  • Representative Bryon Short, Delaware House of Representatives
  • Richelle Vible, Executive Director, Catholic Charities
  • Senator Jack Walsh, Delaware State Senate
  • Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware House of Representatives

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Governor Carney Announces Strategic Plan to Restructure Delaware’s Economic Development Efforts

Plan will create new public-private entity and new economic development division at the Department of State

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced a plan on Wednesday to create a public-private partnership and strategically realign Delaware’s economic development efforts, with a new focus on promoting innovation, supporting Delaware’s entrepreneurs, and leveraging private sector resources to create jobs and grow Delaware’s economy.

Governor Carney – who signed Executive Order #1 on his first full day in office to explore a new economic development strategy – will work closely with members of the General Assembly to approve the concept and funding for the public-private entity, as well as a new division at the Department of State to oversee responsibilities for small business development and tourism.

The plan will reorganize Delaware’s economic development efforts by early 2018.

“We can and should do more to promote innovation, support our entrepreneurs, build and retain a talented workforce in Delaware, and strategically partner with the private sector to grow the state’s economy,” said Governor Carney. “This plan will position Delaware to create good-paying jobs, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and keep our state a competitive place to do business.”

Governor Carney’s plan calls for the creation of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership – a jointly funded public-private entity that will lead statewide business marketing efforts to recruit and retain businesses, including early-stage technology-based ventures, as well as large employers. The partnership also would provide support for startup businesses, with a focus on high-growth industries, and work closely with employers and education institutions to build and retain a talented workforce in Delaware.

Governor Carney’s plan calls for $2 million in annual state funding for the partnership, and $1 million in annual funding from private business. Contributions from the state would remain contingent on an ongoing, annual financial commitment from the private sector.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership would be led by a Chief Executive Officer and governed by a 15-member board with members from the public and private sectors.

Governor Carney’s plan also would eliminate the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO), and shift responsibilities for small business development and tourism to a new division at the Department of State.

“This is about positioning Delaware to be competitive for good jobs moving forward,” said Jeff Bullock, Delaware’s Secretary of State. “By strategically partnering with the private sector, we can leverage business resources to strengthen the state’s economic development efforts, while continuing to support small business owners and promote our state’s $3 billion tourism industry.”

The new division at the Department of State will maintain a strong focus on supporting small business – especially women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses. It will help business owners identify available resources and navigate local, state and federal rules and regulations.

Division leaders also will administer Delaware’s publicly-funded economic development incentive programs, such as the Strategic Fund, the Main Streets program, and the Blue Collar Workforce Training grant program.

Governor Carney’s plan builds on recommendations last month from the Economic Development Working Group, a committee created by Executive Order #1 to study a new economic development strategy. Exploring a new model for economic development that includes a public-private partnership, and an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, also was a recommendation of the Action Plan for Delaware.

Reaction to Governor Carney’s Plan:

“Even with the strongest economy in this region, Delaware can do better,” said Senator Jack Walsh, D-Stanton, a member of the Economic Development Working Group. “Bringing leaders from the private sector to the table adds a valuable new perspective to our economic development strategy and will help make our economy more dynamic over time. At the same time, Delaware is maintaining its firm commitment to empowering women, minority, and veteran-owned small businesses. Not all public-private partnerships are created equal, but the balance that we’ve struck here not only protects existing businesses and jobs, but also gives us a leg up in attracting promising new industries to our state.”

“There were two specific things I was looking for in considering this public-private partnership: One was there be a high level of transparency with the intermingling of public and private funds. I was concerned that it be as transparent as possible so the public would have every confidence that things were being done above board,” said Senator Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, a member of the Economic Development Working Group. “The second was to be sure this was not a New Castle County only solution for business development and that both Kent and Sussex Counties also had opportunities to reap the benefits of this new structure, proven to work very well in other states. I am satisfied both those conditions will be met.”

“This venture will put Delaware in a position to leverage the best that the public and private sectors have to offer to continue to strengthen and improve our economic climate,” said Representative Bryon Short, D-Highland Woods, a member of the Economic Development Working Group. “I look forward to working with this new partnership going forward.”

“This is not an end, it is a beginning,” said Representative Lyndon Yearick, R-Dover South, a member of the Economic Development Working Group. “Bringing the pragmatic knowledge of entrepreneurs into the process of creating a better business environment is a major step forward. Now we need to do realize the promise this concept holds for creating new, dynamic employment in Delaware.”

“We know that bringing additional, private-sector resources to Delaware’s economic development efforts can help strengthen our state’s ability to create jobs, grow the economy, and equip our workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in our new economy,” said Mark Brainard, President of Delaware Technical Community College, and co-chair of the Economic Development Working Group. “We are excited to support Governor Carney’s plan and look forward to making Delaware even more competitive moving forward.”

“This plan offers a real chance to dramatically re-think the way Delaware does business – by leveraging additional resources, and bringing more ideas to the table as we seek to grow our economy, attract talent to our state, and create good-paying jobs for all Delawareans,” said Rod Ward, President of Corporation Service Company, and co-chair of the Economic Development Working Group. “Private businesses are ready and willing to be a full partner in this effort, and help create the kind of entrepreneurial, innovation-based economy that will lead to real growth.”

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Delaware Economic Development Working Group Recommends Plan for Public-Private Partnership

Governor Carney created the working group with Executive Order #1

WILMINGTON, Del. – The Delaware Economic Development Working Group submitted its report to Governor John Carney on Friday, recommending a plan to implement a public-private partnership – the Delaware Prosperity Partnership – that would restructure Delaware’s economic development efforts.

The nonprofit partnership, as recommended by the working group, would leverage private resources to enhance business recruitment, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, support workforce development and provide market analysis on Delaware’s economy.

On January 18, his first full day in office, Governor Carney signed Executive Order #1, creating the working group to recommend a plan for implementing a public-private partnership to improve Delaware’s system of economic development.

Governor Carney is reviewing the working group’s recommendations.

“Delaware’s economy continues to undergo substantial change, and we should do everything we can to ensure Delaware is competing for the good-paying jobs of the future, preparing our workforce for those jobs, supporting our entrepreneurs and promoting innovation,” said Governor Carney. “It makes sense to ask the business sector to partner in those efforts. Thank you to the members of the working group for their attention to this important issue. I am committed to working with the General Assembly as we explore a path forward.”

A new partnership, as recommended Friday by the working group, would be designed as a forward-looking entity to anticipate economic trends – with success of the initiative defined by a set of metrics to include new job creation, higher wages, expanding Delaware’s high-quality talent base, growing Delaware’s tax base, and new business formation.

The working group’s plan does not call for a full replacement of the Delaware Economic Development Office. Under the group’s recommendations, DEDO would remain responsible for administering the Delaware Strategic Fund, Delaware’s Tourism office, business development initiatives and various additional functions.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership would be led by a Chief Executive Officer and governed by a 15-member board with members from the public and private sectors. Friday’s report anticipates a total annual budget of $2.5 million – with the private sector funding a target of 40-60 percent of the nonprofit’s operational costs.

“The members of the working group were honored to serve the Governor on this project and brought a lot of energy, commitment and great thinking to the process of developing the final report,” said Mark Brainard, President of Delaware Technical Community College, and co-chair of the Economic Development Working Group. “The literature shows that states that want to bring additional resources and talent to their economic development initiatives in the future utilize public-private partnerships as a mechanism for generating these additional resources and this proposed model is a very solid start for the Governor’s team and the General Assembly to build upon during the weeks and months ahead.”

“I want to thank all the working group members for their active and thoughtful participation,” said Rod Ward, President of Corporation Service Company, and co-chair of the Economic Development Working Group. “Our report outlines a wonderful opportunity for the business community to work more closely with the state on economic development through a public-private partnership. It can be a game changer for economic growth.”

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