Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Saluting our Veterans and Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Delaware’s PTA

There are many ways to serve.

For hundreds of years, so many Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice.

They put their lives on the line to join our armed forces – defending our nation and earning along the way the noble title of Veteran.   That service is remembered with particular reverence and honor this Veterans Day.

And while vets were leading the fight to protect our freedom for future generations, another great group of Delawareans have been working to prepare generations of future leaders.

This weekend  also marks the Delaware Parent Teacher Association’s 100th Annual Convention.  We know that great teachers do so much to help kids succeed.  But parental involvement plays an enormous part in whether a child graduates ready and able to take on the world.   That critical connection between parents and teachers ensures that’s what taught in the classroom is reinforced at home, and helps ensure that kids arrive at their classroom, ready to learn and ready to lead.   PTA members like to say “children are 25-percent of our present, but 100-percent of our future.” Few organizations have worked as hard or have dedicated as many hours to making Delaware schools even stronger.

Our state’s veterans and our state’s PTA aren’t often mentioned in the same sentence, but their shared sense of service above self and of helping to strengthen this great state of neighbors helps define their members.

Our nation’s economic success in the past has come in part from our commitment to out-innovate and out-work the competition.   But America’s economic future will be won in no small part because of what’s happening  in our classrooms now, including the work parents and teachers are doing to prepare kids to compete and win in a global economy.

In the past, our nation’s great freedoms – the rights and liberties that have for generations made us a beacon of hope for the world came in large part because veterans were willing to sacrifice for them.

And both now, and in the future, the brave men and women in our military will awake each day ready to defend those freedoms anew.

This week, let’s take a moment to remember all these groups have done and all these volunteers will do to keep our great state and nation, moving forward.


Governor’s Weekly MessageTranscript: Habitat for Humanity – Building More Than Homes

If you ever get a chance to lend a hand, or a hammer – do it.

Earlier this week, I joined Lt. Gov Matt Denn, my Cabinet and others to lend a hand at Habitat for Humanity.

Thousands of Delawareans can make the same choice.

They can donate some of their time to help build something that lasts – a home, or homes.

The Mill Stone effort where we worked this week is one of the largest that Habitat for Humanity has ever attempted in Delaware.

It’s a great mix of projects. Some homes are constructed on empty lots- other existing homes are being rehabbed or rebuilt.

Whether it’s the Mill Stone project or others, the time, talent and resources dedicated by these volunteers help renew local communities, one block at a time. It also helps renew something in each volunteer – a sense of connection to our community. And when you’re volunteering with friends or co-workers, it renews your sense of teamwork and purpose. Because, no matter how many meetings you’ve been through with somebody, how many shifts you’ve worked with them – you learn a lot more about them when they’re hammering nails inches from your face, and, when you’re lifting up together the walls to a new home.

Along the way, Habitat volunteers get to work side-by-side Habitat homeowners, who aren’t simply given the keys to a better life – they earn it. They put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity, before having the chance to buy the home. I’ve been to Habitat sites across the state, and each time I come away with the same message: the coming together you see at a Habitat site is evident in so many parts of our great state.

Whether it’s for our schools, or small businesses…whether it’s competing to bring in a new employer or fighting for opportunity for our neighbors – you see that shared sense of effort and purpose.

No matter how bad the weather or how hard the work, we pull together, to keep Delaware, moving forward.

Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Moving Forward with Jobs for Delaware

Jobs in manufacturing and finance – and the small businesses that serve them – have given hundreds of thousands of Delawareans the chance to raise and support their families.

To make ends meet, and help build stronger financial foundations in their own lives.

These industries have, in turn, been critical foundations of our state’s economy.

They are also two of the industries hit hardest – and most often – by the national recession.

So it was with a degree of enthusiasm that we welcomed the news this week that Capital One intends to add 500 jobs to Delaware –jobs we look forward to seeing once Capitol One completes its acquisition of ING Direct and HSBC’s domestic credit card business.

And it’s with a great deal of enthusiasm that we greeted Bloom Energy’s announcement earlier this year that it was choosing Delaware for a new manufacturing hub – that Bloom was interested in turning the site of the shuttered Chrysler plant in Newark into a factory and campus.

This week, the Public Service Commission held three forums to discuss the opportunity for Delmarva Power to serve Delaware homes and businesses using technology manufactured here in Delaware, built by Delawareans. A number of Delawareans spoke up to support this effort to get Delawareans back to work, to make “Made in Delaware, exported to the nation” more true than before. As with any forum, there were opponents, too, and that’s an important part of any discussion. We think Bloom Energy will help power our future. Because, at heart, this is about getting our neighbors back to work. About supporting the small businesses that will readily welcome as new customers the Delawareans who will be hard at work at that factory.

And it’s about looking to the future with a stronger manufacturing base here in Delaware.

We can’t control the strong national winds that have buffeted the industries that put so many Delawareans to work. But we can control how we respond.

We keep working, we keep fighting, and we keep focused, on getting people back to work, which is what we need to do to keep our great state of Delaware and the people who live here moving forward.