NextFab New Addition to Wilmington’s Creative District

Print Collaborative workspace to expand operations and programs to Wilmington

Wilmington, DE  – NextFab Studio, LLC, d.b.a. NextFab (“NextFab”) will soon expand operations south of Philadelphia and open a makerspace in downtown Wilmington with assistance from a $350,000 Delaware Strategic Fund grant recently approved by the Council on Development Finance.

“Known for our willingness to embrace change and foster growth, Delaware welcomes NextFab’s pioneering business model, bringing with it a focus on entrepreneurship and product development,” Governor Jack Markell said. “The company’s creative approach to making much-needed technological resources and education available, as well as its commitment to reinvigorating American manufacturing, makes NextFab a perfect addition to Wilmington’s downtown Creative District.”

Founded in 2009 by Dr. Evan Malone, NextFab’s mission is to foster personal fulfillment, innovation, and economic development through providing broad-based awareness of, access to, competence with, and commerce enabled by Next-generation digital design and Fabrication technologies and services. Like a gym for exercising your creativity, there are no prerequisites to joining NextFab as a member, and NextFab’s member community includes more than 650 individuals from every conceivable background. NextFab members have direct access to state-of-the-art equipment, software, training, consultants — everything they need to master new tools and techniques, and turn an idea into a product and product into a business. NextFab’s instructors and consultants span an enormous range of disciplines and experience, including engineering, arts, business, and science. NextFab currently operates two facilities in Philadelphia, and plans to open its latest 3,500 square-foot facility in Wilmington’s Creative District in the first half of 2016.

“It has been more than a year since Dr. Carrie Gray of Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) brought a stakeholder group from Wilmington to visit us in Philadelphia. Since that time, my colleagues and I have made frequent trips to Wilmington, and have been warmly welcomed into the community and inspired by champions of the past, present, and future of the city,” recalled Dr. Malone. “NextFab is honored and humbled that Governor Markell, Director Whaley, and the Council on Development Finance have entrusted to us some of the resources of the taxpayers of Delaware. We look forward to transforming those resources into tools, training, and technology in the hands of the innovators of Wilmington’s creative economy.”
“We are thrilled that NextFab has identified Wilmington’s Creative District as the right location for their expansion,” said Dr. Carrie W. Gray, WRC Managing Director. “NextFab’s makerspace will be the first of its kind in Wilmington and represents an integral next step for the Creative District. Not only will NextFab complement and enhance our existing tech, maker and entrepreneurial community, but it also represents a unique opportunity to create a key intersection between the arts and tech worlds that NextFab fosters so well.”
“We’re excited that NextFab chose to expand here in Delaware,” commented Delaware Economic Development Office Director Bernice Whaley. “In addition to creating jobs, NextFab will directly support our innovative entrepreneurs, as well bolster indirect job growth through its variety of services.”

About NextFab
NextFab Studio, LLC d.b.a. NextFab, is a for-profit social enterprise focused on building diverse collaborative communities empowered by direct access to advanced manufacturing technology, and providing the training, consulting, and startup company incubation services required to turn ideas into products, and products into businesses.
About Creative District Wilmington
Wilmington’s Creative District is a part of a national wave of creative placemaking initiatives that seek to transform urban areas. This community revitalization project encompasses the area bounded by Fourth, Ninth, Market and Washington Streets and is driven by a strong collaboration from a variety of partners: Chris White Community Development Corporation, Christina Cultural Arts Center, City of Wilmington, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Quaker Hill Neighborhood Association and Wilmington Renaissance Corporation. The Creative District is generously supported by Bank of America, Delaware Division of the Arts, Delaware State Housing Authority, Delmarva Power, JPMorgan Chase, Longwood Foundation, TD Bank Foundation, United Way of Delaware and WSFS Bank.
About Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC)
Founded in 1993, WRC is a privately funded, nonpartisan nonprofit organization. WRC’s mission is to invigorate downtown Wilmington through strategies and projects that stimulate the city’s economy and vitality, solidifying it as a center of educational, cultural and social activity and an exciting place to live, work and visit. Some of WRC’s groundbreaking projects include: establishment of the Downtown Wilmington Business Improvement District; rejuvenation of the LOMA neighborhood; creation of the innovative Delaware College of Art and Design; attraction of a world-class cycling competition; and the implementation of a highly successful four-year public art program. Currently, WRC’s core strategic initiative is facilitating the implementation of the vision for Wilmington’s Creative District (CD) as Wilmington’s creative center, focused on innovative production and consumption, where creative entrepreneurs – artists, musicians, designers and tech innovators – and neighborhood residents thrive and where locally designed goods and original works are made and consumed.
About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit
# # #

Christina Dirksen
Strategic Communications Manager, Delaware Economic Development Office
(302) 672-6857

Evan Malone, Ph.D.
President, NextFab
(215) 921-3649 (main)

Barb Bullock
Creative District Wilmington and Wilmington Renaissance Corporation
Director of Development & Communications
302.425.5500, ext. 104

Governor Markell Orders Flags Lowered for Victims of Attacks in Paris

DOVER – President Obama Sunday ordered American flags at all U.S. government buildings and facilities to be flown at half-staff “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on November 13, 2015, in Paris, France.” In concurrence with the President’s order and as an expression of Delaware’s sympathy for the people affected by the tragedy in Paris, Gov. Markell has ordered the American and Delaware flags at state buildings and facilities also be flown at half-staff until sunset on November 19, 2015.

Governor, state officials, service providers mark success of community-based pretrial supervision initiatives

Wilmington – Governor Jack Markell, corrections officials, and non-profit service providers today visited the Rick VanStory Resource Center (RVRC) in Wilmington to mark the one year anniversary of an innovative partnership with the Department of Correction and highlight the state’s ongoing efforts to strengthen community-based pretrial supervision programs for low risk defendants whose needs for treatment and services outweigh their risks to public safety.

Last November the Department of Correction awarded a contract to RVRC in an innovative pilot program funded through a grant in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget to provide supervision to low risk defendants facing trial. Through this program, case workers conduct detailed needs assessments and use that data to connect defendants immediately to treatment and other social services, ensure that their clients appear for court as required, and monitor their compliance with other conditions of their release. The RVRC program frees up the Probation Officers in DOC’s pre-trial services unit to help protect the community by focusing on the higher risk defendants who have posted bail. Over the past seven years, the number of defendants ordered to pre-trial supervision has nearly tripled statewide, while over the last twelve months, Delaware’s incarcerated population has dropped 3 percent, mostly among pre-trial detainees. Today, the Department of Correction monitors more than 500 defendants statewide who are subject to court-ordered community-based supervision while they await trial.

“Detaining individuals before trial imposes significant costs on our justice system and can lead to higher recidivism rates,” said Markell. “That’s why we have worked hard to make better informed bail decisions and to build effective community-based pre-trial programs. Together, these programs can make a tremendous difference in outcomes for offenders and have a positive impact on public safety.”

For low risk individuals who come into the criminal justice system, remaining in the community enhances their chances of success in the long term. Effective community-based supervision while they await trial can ensure that they appear for court as required and that they comply with other conditions of their release that keep the public safe. Community-based supervision also preserves those individuals’ strong bonds with family and community supports, allows them to maintain or obtain employment, and enables them to begin to receive treatment and social services that they would not have access to in prison.

“Under Governor Markell’s leadership we have invested considerable resources into building a community-based pretrial supervision system that can better support defendants’ efforts to forge a new path for their lives and become positive contributors to our state,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe.

Across Delaware the number of individuals detained in prison while they await trial has grown exponentially over the past two decades. Since 1983, while the state’s population grew by 50%, the detained population ballooned by more than 450%. During Markell’s, term state government has been working to implement reforms that are beginning to bend the curve down while maintaining public safety as a guiding principle. Through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, for example, Delaware now emphasizes an evidence-based model for assessing risk in setting bail and imposing sentences, rewards those who complete rehabilitation programs with good time credits for early release, and reforms our probation system to incorporate risk and needs assessments, graduated sanctions, and compliance credits to end supervision for those who are succeeding in the community.

Allen Conover, CEO of the Rick VanStory Resource Center, emphasized that by providing treatment and services to defendants, the RVRC pre-trial program has experienced a high rate of success. “Therapeutic interventions outweigh punitive interventions when the needs outweigh the risk,” Conover said today.

During their visit, officials highlighted other steps being taken by the state to make more informed bail decisions and build the capacity to effectively supervise defendants in the community in order to ensure that limited and expensive prison space is reserved for high risk defendants who pose a public safety risk:

• Delaware’s courts now use a risk assessment tool to identify defendants who are good candidates for pre-trial release or community-based supervision by the Department of Correction or community based organizations.
• Earlier this year the Department of Correction, Public Defender’s office, and Attorney General’s office initiated a pilot program to identify low risk defendants charged with lower level offenses who are being held on low bail in order to consider appropriate cases where the Court should be petitioned to modify the bail and allow a defendant to return to the community while they await trial. This bail review initiative has identified more than two dozen cases for review and has resulted in several bail modifications and releases to the community.
• Delaware is participating in the Smart Pretrial Initiative, a federally-funded program that is bringing police, prosecutors, the public defender, and judiciary together to recommend ways we can build a better pretrial system to reduce the prison population, ensure public safety, and reduce recidivism.

Kate Parker West from the Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ) who coordinates Delaware’s Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative acknowledged that the Initiative has experienced progress during the planning process as a result of the broad support among criminal justice stakeholders statewide who come together to consider strategically how best to improve our system. “From DCJs perspective, the unnecessary detention of low and moderate risk arrestees presents just as big of a public safety concern as the under-supervised release of high risk arrestees,” she said.

Governor Markell Orders Flags Lowered in Honor of Family Court Judge Alan N. Cooper

DOVER – With the passing of Family Court Judge Alan N. Cooper on October 18, 2015, Governor Markell has ordered the American and Delaware flags at state buildings and facilities be flown at half-staff beginning on the morning of October 22, 2015, as a mark of respect for Judge Cooper and his ten years of public service to the State of Delaware as a Family Court Judge. Prior to his appointment to Family Court, Judge Cooper was a founding partner at the law firm of Berkowitz, Schagrin & Cooper, P.A. While in private practice, he was a volunteer for Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, the Office of the Child Advocate, and the Victim’s Advocacy Program and was the recipient of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services’ Outstanding Pro Bono Service award in 2002. He carried his sense of commitment to the community with him to the Family Court, leading many of the court’s initiatives for systems change, particularly in the area of domestic violence.
Flags are to be returned to full-staff at the close of business on Friday, October 23, 2015.

Governor Markell Orders Flags Lowered in Honor of Former Representative Charles P. West

DOVER, DE – With the passing of former State Representative Charles P. West on October 7, 2015, Governor Markell has ordered the American and Delaware flags at state buildings and facilities be flown at half-staff beginning immediately, as a mark of respect for Representative West and his service to Delaware. Representative West served in the Delaware House from 1956-1958 and 1978-2002, representing the Gumboro and Millsboro areas. During his time in the legislature, he championed education issues and helped establish the Sussex County Veterans Cemetery. Representative West also served his country and community as a World War II veteran in the U.S. Army and founding member of the Gumboro Volunteer Fire Company.

Flags are to be returned to full staff at close of business on the day of Representative West’s interment, Monday, October 12, 2015.