Students Honored at 16th Annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition Ceremony

DOVER – Students from across the state gathered Saturday at the Delaware Public Archives to celebrate the winners of the 16th Annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition and to be recognized for their knowledge of the First State’s influential role in crafting the United States Constitution.

(NOTE: Delaware Day is observed each year on Dec. 7, the date that Delaware ratified the U.S Constitution and earned its nickname, The First State. This event was scheduled to take place in early December, but was postponed due to inclement weather.)

More than 1,100 students from 22 schools were given two months to prepare informative displays illustrating Delaware’s role in the creation and ratification of the Constitution, integrating creative elements such as artwork, poetry, songs and cartoons. This year’s competition featured 35 separate entries, the most in the program’s history.

“Delaware Day is our time to celebrate just how important our state was in the early days of the nation,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “As always, the projects our fourth graders presented were outstanding tributes to this legacy, and I congratulate them for their efforts and the time they devoted to learning about the history of the First State.”

More than 13,500 students have participated in the annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition since the start of the program in 2001.

Each year, awards are given to schools with the most creative and historically accurate projects. Named in honor of Delaware’s five signers of the U. S. Constitution, the awards recognize schools in each county plus the city of Wilmington as well as a private school. Representatives from the Department of State judge the projects focusing on three main areas: historical accuracy, spelling and creativity.

Projects also are evaluated by the Delaware Division of the Arts and the Newark Arts Alliance. Select projects are presented with an Artistic Merit Award in recognition of the students’ creative use of visual art as well as design and composition.

The winners of the 2017 Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition are:

George Read Award:
Eastside Charter School, Wilmington

Gunning Bedford, Jr. Award:
TIE – Keene Elementary, Christina School District
Gallaher Elementary, Christina School District

• John Dickinson Award:
North Dover Elementary, Capital School District

• Richard Bassett Award:
North Laurel Elementary, Laurel School District

• Jacob Broom Award:
4-WAY TIE – Epworth Christian School, Laurel
Christ the Teacher Catholic School, Glasgow
Learning Express Academy, Newark
Wilmington Friends School

• Artistic Merit Awards:
North Laurel Elementary, Laurel School District
Bunker Hill Elementary, Appoquinimink School District
Epworth Christian School, Laurel
Gallaher Elementary, Christina School District
North Dover Elementary, Capital School District

For more information, visit the Annual Delaware Day Competition website.


US NewGenzyme cuts ribbon at its Newport facility

Newport, DE – Governor John Carney, Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and other officials and dignitaries joined US NewGenzyme President and CEO Gaofeng Liu to and members of the Global Delaware team Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the company’s Newport facility.

“We are very excited to start operations in Newport,” said Gaofeng Liu, president and CEO of US NewGenzyme. “The state of Delaware and New Castle County have been very supportive of our efforts from the very start, and we are confident this will be a successful opportunity for both our company and the state.”

“We are excited and honored to welcome NewGenzyme to Delaware,” said Gov. Carney. “My administration is committed to building a strong innovation economy, and NewGenzyme is a perfect example of this—an entrepreneurial operation that will create high-tech jobs and additional opportunity right here in our state.”

US NewGenzyme, a subsidiary of Chinese food ingredient and flour additive company Southern New Well Food Co., uses a fermentation process to manufacture an all-natural bio-enzyme used to improve flour products. The enzyme will be sold directly to large baking ingredient companies as well as directly to large bakeries and flour mills in the U.S. and abroad. The product will help to replace chemical bleaching agents, which have been banned in China and several European countries. The U.S. market has also seen a significant decrease in the use of chemical bleaching agents, and an increased demand for safer alternatives.

“The bio-enzyme is safer than the chemical alternatives and improves the color, shelf-life and texture of the dough,” Mr. Liu explained. “This enzyme is well-known in the industry, but until now, the challenge has been to produce it affordably on an industrial scale. It took us several years to develop and fine-tune the manufacturing process, but we are now ready to start commercial production in our Delaware facility.”

Delaware provides right location, resources

Although the company’s research operations are in Maryland, the company chose to locate its manufacturing facility in Delaware because of the strong manufacturing legacy in the region, US NewGenzyme Business Manager Mike Tian explained. “Making the move from a lab-scale operation to an industrial-scale operation is a big step, and not an easy one. Here in Delaware, we were able to get the assistance we needed to launch our operation quickly and without a lot of extra steps. Everyone at the state of Delaware has been extremely helpful.”

Mr. Tian noted that the facility is an easy drive to the FDA and close to excellent schools that can provide a talent pool as it ramps up operations. In addition, the plant’s proximity to Interstate 95 provides easy distribution to East Coast customers.
“Delaware has much to offer young bioscience companies, from its strategic location to its outstanding universities and deep talent pool,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. “NewGenzyme joins a growing number of strong, innovative companies, and we look forward to partnering with them to ensure their long-term success.”

Once the plant is running at full capacity, US NewGenzyme will employ between five and ten people, Mr. Tian said. Many of the positions will be manufacturing jobs, but the plant will also require several science and engineering professionals for quality assurance and plant management.

“We look forward to starting operations very soon, and we are grateful to Global Delaware and to officials around the State and County for all of their support in helping us make this project a reality,” Mr. Tian added.


Deadline Approaches for Delaware Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement

Dover, DE – The clock is ticking for Delaware companies that may wish to convert their abandoned and unclaimed property audits to a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement offered by the Secretary of State.

Eligible firms have until Dec. 11, 2017 to choose a VDA conversion.

Companies that elect to enter into a VDA participate in a collaborative settlement process whereby the holder and the state agree upon a quantification methodology and an amount to be reported by the holder. The VDA allows holders to leverage audit work that has already been performed and incorporate it into the agreement to ensure efficiency. A Delaware VDA also provides indemnification against future unclaimed property proceedings by other states.

“The VDA program is a rigorous but fair process,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “For hundreds of companies it’s proven the fastest and easiest way to come into compliance with Delaware law, and remain in compliance going forward.”

Since its inception in 2012, more than 850 companies have enrolled in the VDA program and approximately 450 settlements have been reached to date.

Earlier this year, Gov. John Carney signed into law significant changes to Delaware’s unclaimed property law. These changes created a more streamlined statute that is more consistent with other states’ unclaimed property laws. One key revision grants unclaimed property holders under examination by the Delaware Department of Finance the opportunity to participate in the Secretary of State’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement program.

Conversion documents must be received by the Secretary of State by Dec. 11, 2017 to be eligible for participation in the VDA program.

Visit https://vda.delaware.gov/ for more information. Further questions may be directed to VDA Administrator Alison Iavarone at alison.iavarone@delaware.gov or 302-577-8959.