Governor Carney, Lt. Governor Hall-Long Announce $50M American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Investment in Jobs Training

Investments will expand Forward Delaware, and fund Pathways 2.0, which will expand the Pathways program to reach more than 6,000 Delaware middle school students and 80 percent of Delaware high school students

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and Lt. Governor Hall-Long joined private sector leaders at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) on Tuesday to announce a $50 million investment in workforce development, including an expansion of the Forward Delaware jobs-training program for industries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and additional work experience services for Delaware students.

The investments are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was championed by Delaware’s Congressional Delegation – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, along with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. ARPA was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.

“We’re focused on investments that will build on the strengths of Delaware’s world-class workforce and support Delaware families and businesses who were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Carney. “These workforce development programs will help Delawareans develop the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy. And the expansion of our Pathways program will connect even more students with real-world work experience while they’re still in school. I want to thank President Biden and members of Delaware’s federal delegation for making these important resources available.”

Tuesday’s announcement includes a $15.8 million public-private expansion of Delaware’s Pathways program, which links education and workforce development programs and allows students to gain real-world work experience while in school.

“This investment in Delaware’s workforce will meet the challenges of tomorrow by working together, to strengthen Delaware’s economy, while providing our families the tools and skills they need to succeed,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “This public-private partnership makes strategic investments in our workforce that were not only hit the hardest during the pandemic as well as those that will lead us into the future with a focus on careers in STEM, healthcare, increasing women and minorities in construction, and our restaurant and hotel industry.”

Pathways 2.0will expand the Pathways program into Delaware middle schools, reaching more than 6,000 students. The investment will also grow the Pathways program in Delaware high schools to reach 32,000 students, about 80 percent of all students attending Delaware public high schools. Formed in 2015, the Pathways program currently serves about 20,000 high school students.

“The pandemic has made significant changes to our economy and workforce needs, and Delaware must adapt in order to be a competitive state with a first-class workforce now and in the future,” said Sens. Carper, Coons and Rep. Blunt Rochester. “We commend Governor Carney for his focus on workforce development throughout this difficult period, and Delaware Technical Community College for always adapting their programs to provide practical workforce needs.”

The State of Delaware will invest $8.3 million in the Pathways 2.0 expansion – targeting support for workforce development in health care, IT, finance, and engineering. The investments will also expand employer-driven apprenticeship programs that allow Delawareans to “earn and learn” in high-growth, high-wage industries.

Private and public entities contributed major funding toward the next phase of work through 2024, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Walton Family Foundation, ASA (American Student Assistance), JPMorgan Chase, the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee (DBREC), and the Delaware Department of Education (DOE).

“Delaware is an important proof point for the nation on how states can rethink their schools as economic engines for the 21st century,” said Jenny Sharfstein Kane of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Bloomberg Philanthropies was proud to help catalyze Delaware’s pathways system in 2018, and we’re excited to partner to accelerate this work even further. This is also a significant example of how private and public funding can come together to mobilize maximum support and impact of the work.

“Young adults want meaningful, applicable learning experiences as they craft their unique path to a successful life,” said Romy Drucker, Interim Director of the K-12 Education Program for the Walton Family Foundation. “Only with deeper connections and collaboration between K-12 schools, colleges and employers can this be the reality for all students.”

“Delaware’s collaborative efforts will further ‘blur the lines’ between school and work—and make the world after graduation much more tangible and attainable for thousands of young people,” said Rodman Ward III, president and CEO of Corporation Service Company (CSC) and board chair of Rodel, a nonprofit that supports the public-private partnership in career pathways.

“We know that middle school is a crucial point in the education continuum when there is an enormous opportunity to help students better know themselves and understand their long-term education and career goals,” said ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy. “However, middle schoolers often experience stress when thinking about the future because there are so few resources available to help them plan. We are excited to partner with the state and other dedicated funders to significantly increase access to highly effective and engaging career exploration experiences that will empower thousands of young people to discover their interests, explore their options, and get hands-on experience that can help build students’ confidence in the future, as well as the skills necessary for their long-term success.”

“The negative, financial effects of the pandemic have disproportionately affected restaurants more than any other business sector, and with 5,000 open positions statewide, Delaware’s restaurant industry will only recover with a skilled workforce,” said Carrie Leishman, President and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association. “With 98% of Delaware restaurants reporting open positions, these funds will be used to rapidly advance training into all corners of our state, by supporting opportunity and upward mobility for those seeking to enter and re-enter the hospitality industry. We thank the Governor for continuing to support restaurants and the 46,000 Delawareans that make up its workforce.”

“This funding will accelerate our pathways models—bringing more students face-to-face with employers, while providing opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials sooner,” said Joseph Jones, superintendent of the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District.

Additionally, the investments announced on Tuesday will support:

  • $1.5 million – Delaware Department of Labor (DOL) Workforce Programs. Training programs will be offered statewide and designed to assist Delaware workers and their families who have been impacted most by the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative will focus on health care, logistics, and transportation. 
  • $1.2 million – Expansion of Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Workforce Development Academy. Funding seeks to increase the participation of women, minorities, and disadvantaged Delawareans seeking employment in the highway construction industry. 
  • $1 million – Restaurant and Hotel Industry Support. Funding will focus on training and pathways to employment for Delawareans seeking employment in Delaware’s hospitality industry. 

“DelDOT is making significant infrastructure investments across our state and it is important we are doing all we can to build the workforce of today and tomorrow and establishing a workforce that looks like the communities we represent,” said Nicole Majeski, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation.

“We are pleased that the Governor has continued investment in Forward Delaware. The program has become a recognized hub for employers and employees seeking information, data and resources to help Delawareans impacted by the COVID Pandemic,” said Karryl Hubbard, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “These critical federal funds will enhance an already successful model for developing and upskilling workers and will positively impact employment prospects for many underserved groups across the state. We look forward to working with our partners and providing training for critical industry needs.”

Click here to view video from today’s announcement.

Click here to view photos from today’s announcement.

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$26.4M American Rescue Plan Investment in Wilmington Housing

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Funding will accelerate building in Riverside development, nearly 350 homes in two years

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, Lt. Governor Hall-Long, and members of Delaware’s congressional delegation joined community leaders at REACH Riverside on Monday to announce $26.4 million in housing funding for the purpose-built community in northeast Wilmington. The announcement will accelerate the development of 350 affordable homes to completion in just two years.

The investment is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.

“This purpose-built community will accelerate the development of safe, affordable housing for hundreds of Delaware families, and help rebuild a Wilmington community that has been hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. That’s exactly how these American Rescue Plan funds are meant to be used,” said Governor Carney. “The Riverside redevelopment will support a mix of housing options for city residents, as well as providing wraparound social services in the community. Thank you to the WRK Group for their commitment to our City, and to members of our federal delegation and President Biden for providing these important resources through the American Rescue Plan Act.”

“Your zip code should not determine your ability to have a high-quality, safe, affordable home,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “Economic, physical, and emotional well-being are all linked to a stable home. These ARPA funds combined with the public-private partnerships provide a once in a generational opportunity for us to make a real difference and deliver meaningful investments for Delaware’s families.”

“Today’s announcement will not only speed up the redevelopment of Riverside, it will transform generations of families that call Riverside home,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “This $26.4 million in funding to help redevelop this community is from the American Rescue Plan Act, a bill that your Congressional Delegation fought hard to see across the finish line. I am so proud we are using these federal dollars to support our communities most in need, and most hard hit by the pandemic.”

“Safe, sanitary, and affordable housing is the foundation on which you can build a life, a family, and a strong community,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Today’s announcement that $26.4 million of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan will be used to accelerate the construction of housing in the Riverside neighborhood is a testament to the Governor and General Assembly’s understanding of the importance of affordable housing. I’m proud to work with our local, state, and federal partners on this historic investment.”

“Delaware is so fortunate to have Logan Herring and REACH Riverside at the helm of the redevelopment of the Riverside neighborhood in Wilmington,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. “ This $26.4 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, which your federal delegation voted to pass in March of this year, will allow for REACH Riverside to continue its critical work of providing safe, affordable public housing to Delawareans. Despite the challenges brought on by the Hurricane Ida last month, Riverside remains a place of opportunity and hope, and I am proud to play a part in helping this neighborhood become a more safe and vibrant one.”

“The WRK Group (The Warehouse, REACH Riverside, and Kingswood Community Center) is so grateful for the generous investment in the Riverside community,” said Logan Herring, CEO of the WRK Group. “The Riverside neighborhood is a real example of the impact of systemic racism and poverty in a local community. The Riverside neighborhood was originally built to create an affordable neighborhood for White veterans returning from World War II. The GI bill, which gave many returning veterans the opportunity to obtain a mortgage, home, and in time, the development of generational wealth, didn’t necessarily extend to returning Black veterans. Decades later, the effects of the flawed GI Bill and other contributing factors to systemic racism, such as mass incarceration, are widely felt by today’s residents. Governor Carney’s announcement of ARPA funds being invested into our community, is a welcomed one and illustrates Delaware’s ongoing commitment to empowering a traditionally underserved community. On behalf of The WRK Group and Riverside, thank you.”

“As a family-owned business based in Wilmington, DiSabatino Construction is thrilled by the historic investment of these funds into the Riverside community,” said Larry DiSabatino, President, DiSabatino Construction. “Building affordable housing in Wilmington has been a vital part of the DiSabatino family businesses for five generations now. We are proud to be a partner in providing our fellow community members a safe, beautiful, and affordable place to call home. We are thrilled to be working with The WRK Group on phase one of the project as the construction manager.”

“Pennrose would like to congratulate our partners in the Riverside Redevelopment for the substantial investment announced by Governor Carney and Lt. Governor Hall-Long,” said Ryan Bailey, Senior Developer at Pennrose. “We are honored to partner with The WRK Group and Wilmington Housing Authority to develop a brand-new residential community for Riverside. Thank you, Governor Carney, for your investment in this well-deserved initiative.”

Click here to view photos from today’s announcement.

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Gov. Carney, Lt. Gov. Hall-Long, Sen. Carper, Rep. Blunt Rochester Announce $110M Universal Broadband Investment  

Delaware aims to be first state to reach every home and business with high-speed, wired broadband service 

Broadband infrastructure investment is funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law by President Joe Biden 

BRIDGEVILLE, Del. – Governor John Carney, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, members of the General Assembly, and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) on Thursday announced a $110 million investment to cover every “last mile” of Delaware with high-speed, wireline broadband internet service.  

The broadband infrastructure investment – funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law on March 11 by President Joe Biden – aims to make Delaware the first state to provide wireline broadband access to every Delaware home and business.  

“Delawareans rely on stable internet connections to apply for jobs, help their children do homework, work from home, or continue their education online,” said Governor Carney. “This significant investment will recognize that reality, and make sure all Delaware families have access to high-speed broadband service. We know that’s more important than ever after the lessons we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Delaware’s federal delegation for voting to approve the American Rescue Plan Act, and President Joe Biden for signing this important legislation into law.” 

Currently, about 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses lack access to high-speed, wireline broadband service. The broadband infrastructure project announced on Thursday will target investments to areas currently unserved or underserved, lacking a wireline connection, and will prioritize projects that achieve “last mile” connections to households and businesses. 

Click here to view maps of areas most in need of expanded of broadband networks across Delaware

 

“Access to broadband is infrastructure. Just like when our roads, bridges, and railways are broken we fix them and we need to do the same for our access to broadband and close these gaps,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “This critical investment from our federal government is a once in a generation opportunity for us to make a real difference and deliver meaningful investments. I’m excited about the opportunity to really put our state in a position of strength to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”   

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how much Americans rely on the Internet for school, running a business, or simply getting health care. Unfortunately, too many people across the First State do not have access to a reliable Internet connection,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “When our Congressional delegation was working on the American Rescue Plan, we knew we needed to provide robust and flexible funding for states to address their own unique needs. I’m so glad the state is using funds from the American Rescue Plan to address this digital divide, and I applaud Governor Carney’s leadership in combatting this pandemic and moving Delaware forward.” 

“Reliable access to high-speed internet is becoming more and more critical for success in the 21st century,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Today’s news will connect thousands in Delaware to broadband services. With the current challenges of COVID-19, we have particularly felt the strain associated with unreliable internet across our state. Whether it’s connecting kids to schools, seniors to doctors, or rural farmers to state-of-the-art agricultural data, this $110-million investment of federal funds will expand broadband availability, increase internet speeds, and make Delaware one of the most connected states in America.” 

“Access to affordable and reliable broadband has been an issue for students, families and businesses throughout Delaware for years, especially for those in the most rural and urban areas of the state,” said U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the critical need for high-speed broadband service as Delawareans found themselves learning, working and educating from home now more than ever. With $110 million secured through the American Rescue Plan that I voted to pass in March, Delaware will now be able to invest in major updates to our broadband infrastructure in the areas that need it most.” 

“Many of the local officials have long said that additional investment must be made in broadband connectivity,” said State Senator Brian Pettyjohn. “As the events of the past year have painfully shown, the infrastructure required to support business, remote learning, and other activities vital in the modern world are simply not in place. This investment will make our communities more competitive in a global economy, allow our students to have equal access to information for learning, and provide health, safety, and security enhancements to even the most remote areas in our state.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home just how integral broadband is for modern life,” said State Senator Nicole Poore, chair of the Joint Capital Improvement Committee. “Delawareans logged on for work, school, doctor’s visits and just to spend a few minutes with their loved ones. Others turned to the high-speed internet to keep their businesses going. Here in the 21st century, we can’t afford for whole towns and communities to be without this vital service, and I applaud Governor John Carney for keeping his promise to close the last remaining gaps in broadband service for our rural communities.” 

“Building upon our prior investments in fiber and wireless broadband, it is our goal to be the first state to provide a wired internet connection to every Delaware residence and business,” said CIO Jason Clarke. “Working with our state internet service providers to deliver a reliable and scalable solution will position Delaware to meet current and future broadband demands.” 

Photos from today’s event can be found here.

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