Governor Carney Issues Statement on Cabinet Confirmations

WILMINGTON, Del. –  Governor John Carney on Wednesday issued the following statement on Senate confirmations of Cabinet officials to lead the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the Department of Education (DOE).

“I want to thank members of the Delaware Senate for their thoughtful consideration of these two important Cabinet nominations,” said Governor Carney. “Both Claire and Mark will bring years of experience and commitment to public service that will benefit all Delawareans. I look forward to continuing to work with these two in their new positions.”

Claire DeMatteis was confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of the Department of Human Resources (DHR). In her current position as Special Assistant to Governor Carney, DeMatteis oversees management of federal stimulus funding received by the State of Delaware, and assists with crisis management projects across state government. DeMatteis previously served as Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) from 2019-2021, as Special Assistant to Governor Carney overseeing reforms to Delaware’s corrections system, and in a senior role at the Delaware Department of Labor (DOL). 

Mark Holodick was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of the Department of Education (DOE). Last year, Holodick joined the Delaware Academy for School Leadership at the University of Delaware, where he leads coaching and professional development programs for principals and other school and district leaders. He had been Superintendent of the Brandywine School District since 2009, overseeing 16 schools with more than 10,000 students. Previously, Holodick was principal at Concord High School and at a blended middle and high school in the Delmar School District. Holodick was named Administrator of the Year in 2016 by the Delaware Association of Educational Office Professionals and Superintendent of the Year in 2017 by the Delaware Chief School Officers Association.

Click here to view Dr. Holodick’s initial press announcement.

Click here to view Claire DeMatteis’ initial press announcement.

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Governor Carney Sends Letter to Boards on Wilmington Learning Collaborative

Letter urges Christina, Red Clay, Brandywine board members to support schools partnership

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday sent a letter to members of the Christina, Red Clay, and Brandywine boards of education, urging them to support moving forward with negotiations to create the Wilmington Learning Collaborative. The following are excerpts from the letter:

“This letter is to request that, by your February board meetings, you vote to move forward with formally exploring this partnership. This vote would authorize your superintendents to begin formal negotiations to develop memoranda of understanding, with the goal of creating the Collaborative.”

“The Wilmington Learning Collaborative model is one that we’ve seen work in other states. It is a partnership among City schools to work together on behalf of our children in Wilmington – and to empower educators who know best what City students need. It will create a hyper focus on the challenges facing Wilmington students and educators.”

“Unfortunately, we know City students are not getting the education they need and deserve. We have much work to be done to ensure all of our third graders are reading on grade level, to set them up for future academic success. Wilmington children, families, and educators need additional support. I stand ready to offer that support – and I hope you’ll join me.”

“Thanks to the support of the General Assembly, advocates, and educators, significant new funding will be coming to schools across Delaware. Opportunity Funding, K-3 Basic Special Education funding, and additional mental health staff will all make an impact in schools across our state.”

“Additionally, at the end of January, I will be proposing to add $14 million in additional resources to help low-income students, much of which stems from recommendations from the Redding Consortium. Half of that funding will go towards putting the Redding Consortium recommendations into the operating budget, and the other half will go specifically to schools that join the Wilmington Learning Collaborative.”

“I believe City educators are doing everything within their power to help our children succeed. They need our support. I know you feel the same way. That’s what this plan is about: empowering educators on the ground and giving them support they need to improve outcomes for our children who need our help the most.”

Click here to read the full letter to Christina, Red Clay, and Brandywine board members. 

Visit de.gov/wlc to learn more about the Wilmington Learning Collaborative

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Governor Carney Announces Department of Human Resources (DHR) Nomination

Additional personnel changes announced to focus on management of federal ARPA and infrastructure funding

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday announced that he will nominate Claire DeMatteis to serve as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Human Resources (DHR), where she would provide support for Delaware’s state workforce and manage recruitment and retention programs across the executive branch of state government.

DeMatteis currently serves as Special Assistant to the Governor, overseeing the management of federal stimulus dollars. Governor Carney’s nomination must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate.

“Claire has stepped up time and time again over the last five years,” said Governor Carney. “She helped manage major reforms at the Department of Correction, and later led the agency with distinction from 2019-2021. In her current role, she has helped make sure we are efficiently managing an influx of federal stimulus dollars to the State. Claire has a proven ability to take on difficult challenges and I look forward to the Senate confirming her nomination.”

In her current position as Special Assistant to Governor Carney, DeMatteis oversees management of federal stimulus funding received by the State of Delaware, and assists with crisis management projects across state government.

If confirmed by the Senate as DHR Secretary, DeMatteis would focus on modernizing the state workforce post-pandemic, including efforts to:

  • Recruit a new generation of workers into state government that reflects that state’s population;
  • Address compensation inequities across state government agencies;
  • And increase efforts to provide professional development and training for all state employees, including diversity and inclusion training, leadership development, and mentorship programs. 

Also on Thursday, Governor Carney announced senior personnel changes to manage additional federal funding. 

A.J. Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), who continues to lead the State’s logistical response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will manage recovery efforts and implementation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments, while remaining in his current DEMA role.

Greg Patterson, currently the Chief of Staff at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), will move to the Office of the Governor as Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator to manage funding received by the State of Delaware through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The bipartisan law was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on November 15. 

White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu urged governors this week to name implementation coordinators to oversee the new infrastructure spending. Delaware is expected to receive more than $2 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including significant new funding for road and bridge repairs, broadband expansion, clean water projects, and electric vehicle infrastructure. 

Patterson, who previously served in roles for Governor Ruth Ann Minner and Governor Jack Markell, as well as at the state Department of Justice and Department of Insurance, will also assist in reviewing and streamlining State regulations related to economic development, consistent with the ongoing Ready in 6 initiative to advance job creation efforts.

“I’ve known A.J. and Greg for years, and both are consummate public servants who I’m confident are ready for this challenge,” said Governor Carney. “For almost two years, A.J. has led the State’s logistical response to the COVID-19 pandemic, managing the statewide testing program and rollout of the vaccine. In the months ahead, A.J. and Greg will continue to manage recovery efforts and make sure we are getting stimulus dollars out the door and putting them to work for Delaware families. I want to thank both for their continued public service.”

DeMatteis previously served as Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) from 2019-2021, as Special Assistant to Governor Carney overseeing reforms to Delaware’s corrections system, and in a senior role at the Delaware Department of Labor (DOL). 

From 2008-2016, DeMatteis worked as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Privacy Officer of two multi-billion dollar corporations. DeMatteis spent four years at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, a Mid-Atlantic law firm with offices in Wilmington. She was partner in charge of the firm’s Delaware office from 2007-2008.

During her decade working as senior counsel for then-Senator Joe Biden, from 1994-2004, DeMatteis served as a member of a senior team on issues involving law enforcement, women’s rights, civil rights, and constitutional matters. She helped guide campaign strategy, managed constituent communications, and drafted legislation.

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Governor Carney Issues State of Emergency Declaration

Order provides support to combat the Winter COVID-19 surge

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday issued a new State of Emergency (SOE) declaration, effective today, January 3, 2022, to combat the winter surge of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. 

Click here to read the full text of Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration.

“We still face a very serious situation with COVID-19 in Delaware, especially in our hospital facilities,” said Governor Carney. “The best thing Delawareans can do to support those frontline health care workers is to remain vigilant – and do what works. After two years of this pandemic, we all know what to do. Mask up in public places to protect yourself and vulnerable family members. Get your vaccine. And get a booster if you’re eligible. That’s the best way to prevent serious illness and hospitalization.”

The new State of Emergency declaration will:

  • Allow the Public Health Authorities to set aside regulations in order to combat the surge in cases.
  • Increase bed capacity in acute care facilities with assurances for adequate staffing, maintenance, and safety, and approval by the Division of Public Health (DPH).
  • Enable members of the Delaware National Guard to work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in skilled nursing facilities to care for patients currently in Delaware hospitals. 

Approximately 100 members of the Delaware National Guard are currently being trained to become CNAs. 

Visit de.gov/getmyvaccine to learn where to get your COVID-19 vaccine. 

Visit de.gov/gettested to learn more about COVID-19 testing. 

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DelDOT Announces Completion of 141 Projects

Motorists who use the Route 141 corridor are receiving an early holiday gift as a decade of work involving multiple projects comes to an end on the Route 141 corridor from Route 4 in Newport to Route 13 in New Castle. This is one of the most heavily traveled non-interstate roads in Delaware and required extensive work to address safety and capacity needs and replace ageing infrastructure.

All major work for the most recent project from the I-95 interchange to Jay Drive, which began in August 2019, has been completed ahead of the original spring 2022 completion date by the contractor, R.E. Pierson.

Improvements include:
• Complete reconstruction of the I-95/141 interchange consisting of eight interchange ramps and four bridges
• Constructing an additional left turn lane from Commons Boulevard to Route 141 northbound
• Constructing additional Route 141 through lanes at the Commons Boulevard intersection
• Pedestrian and transit infrastructure improvements
• Full depth pavement reconstruction and drainage improvements
• Rehabilitation of the Route 141 Newport viaduct
• Rehabilitation of the Route 141 bridge over Route 13

“In total, DelDOT has invested nearly $160 million to improve safety, traffic flow, and modernize this more than 50 year-old corridor,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “We appreciate the patience of motorists as our contractors have worked to make these needed repairs and improvements while maintaining traffic through this corridor and I am grateful to the work of our DelDOT team and contracting community for their efforts to complete these projects. ”

Governor John Carney added, “These projects reflect what we are doing across Delaware, improving our infrastructure to ensure it is safe, well-maintained, and meets the needs of the traveling public. We have invested $2.5 billion in our capital transportation program statewide over the past four years and will invest another $4 billion in the next six years as we continue to modernize and improve our infrastructure for all modes of transportation.”