by James DeChene
The CZA Regulatory Advisory Committee met earlier this week for the fifth time. During the meeting, reports were given from the various working groups focusing on individual components of the legislation’s requirements, including how to account for sea level rise, providing financial assurance, and how to monitor bulk product transfer. Of the reports, an agreement of sorts was reached on definitions related to bulk product transfer, while the other topics will be revisited in future meetings based on the amount of material needed to review. Regulations are to be finalized by 10/1/19, and with a little less than a year left, there remains quite a bit of work to be completed.
The State Chamber’s Healthcare & Employer Advocacy and Education Committees hosted a joint event focused on the legal and human resources issues of opioids, drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Attendees were presented with three case studies involving small, medium and large businesses, with a variety of circumstances surrounding employee behavior, benefits and worst-case scenarios.
Next week is the State Chamber’s “Developing Delaware” event taking place in Dover at the Modern Maturity center. Focused on how Delaware compares with surrounding states when reviewed by site selectors, looking at Delaware “By the Numbers” and hearing success stories from around the state, this is a great opportunity to learn about economic development activity happening in Delaware. With over 200 attendees already registered, it will be a great networking event, too. To register, visit: http://web.dscc.com/events/Developing-Delaware-Conversation-Collaboration-Innovation-2175/details
Across the country, October 5th will be recognized as National Manufacturing Day, an annual event sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers. In Delaware, we celebrate Manufacturing Week, and this year Governor Carney signed a proclamation for this event at the newly opened Datwyler production hub in Middletown.
Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.
MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.
In Delaware, events are taking place around the state, with local companies inviting students in for tours of their facilities to showcase the kinds of rewarding careers that can be had in manufacturing. With the current generation of workers quickly aging out into retirement, there exists plenty of good paying jobs for those interested and willing to work.
Learn more at MFGDay.com. Chamber members should use #MFGDay18 in social media posts share their photos and events with the State Chamber.
by James DeChene
Two years ago, the State Chamber’s Healthcare Committee held an event on opioids to help employers to identify addiction in the workplace, find assistance for employees struggling with overcoming addiction, and shared examples of innovative employer policies that help to provide treatment options. The event was the first of two planned events, the second of which will be held October 10, 2018, and will be a joint venture between the Healthcare Committee and the Employer Advocacy and Education Committee. We hope you, your HR staff, and other interested people will attend.
Battling opioid and other substance abuse is a nationally recognized issue. Delaware employers are no exception in facing the challenges brought on by this crisis. Join the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce for an informative panel discussion regarding opioid and substance abuse in the workplace. Panelists will share a diverse set of case studies illustrating how employers can and should handle various situations that affect all businesses, from a mom and pop shop, to a large company with internal HR and legal staff.
- Tim Holly , Connolly Gallagher, LLP
- Paula Roy, ROY Associates
- Becky Flood, President & CEO, Ashley Addiction Treatment Center
- Tricia Clendening, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, SPHR, HR Strategies, LLC
- Kevin Fasic, Offit Kurman
- Shannon DeLucia, Hotel DuPont
- Jamie Danner, Senior Benefit Consultant, Kelly Benefit Strategies
Free to attend for DSCC Members / $15 admission for Future Members
Continental Breakfast will be provided
This week the State of Delaware signed an agreement with Gulftainer to run the Port of Wilmington. Under terms of the 50-year deal, Gulftainer has pledged to invest $600 million in upgrades and build a new container-handling terminal on the Delaware at Edgemoor. The deal also has the potential to double the number of jobs (currently around 5,700) in the coming years, providing a blue-collar job resurgence in an area in desperate need of those types of jobs.
Last night the State Chamber hosted its annual networking table top event at the Chase Center, in partnership with the Better Business Bureau of Delaware. Billed as the largest business to business networking event in the state, with over 100 exhibitors and over 600 attendees, the event was a successful matchup among Chamber members, highlighting the variety of businesses Delaware has to offer.
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish Rich Heffron a very happy birthday. Lucky for him it falls on a Friday this year, just in time for our Weekly Report to go out.
The Chamber would also like to wish James DeChene a happy birthday, as he and Rich were both born on September 21! Happy Birthday to them both!
by James DeChene
On the heels of the Carney Administration signing a package of bills this week designed to help combat Delaware’s opioid crisis, the State Chamber will be holding a seminar for employers to learn more about strategies for handling opioids, drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
We will be presenting three employer case examples of opioid and alcohol abuse for panelists to discuss, and offer guidance and advice on how employers can/should handle the situations portrayed. The case studies involve a small “mom and pop” business with no HR capacity, a mid-sized employer (roughly 150 employees) with employee manuals, but no sophisticated HR capacity, and a large employer with in-house HR and legal staffs. The panelists will react to the studies presented, but also add useful insights or advice to Chamber members attending.
Opioids, Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington, DE 19806
Sponsorship opporunities available. Please contact email@example.com.
by James DeChene
Congratulations to last night’s primary election winners as they now will go on to face their general election opponents (unless they were one of the few who have no general election candidate, and have therefore will be in office in January 2019).
by James DeChene
A number of bills were signed into law this week, as Gov. Carney spent the better part of two days signing bills on a range of topics. From establishing a clean energy financing program for the installation of energy efficiency technologies and clean energy systems, to marijuana charge expungements, to bills about service animals, over two dozen bills became law. Of particular note was HB360, which mandates sexual harassment training for employees, and specific training for supervisors. The most recent edition of the Chamber’s magazine has an article on the impact of the bill written by Lori Brewington from Richards, Layton & Finger. If you’ve not read it yet, I encourage you to do so.
Next week the Chamber will be spending time downstate. On 9/5, the Chamber will be holding a networking mixer at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth at 5:30, and the next day is the Chamber Chase golf tournament at King’s Creek. Also that day is Delaware’s Primary Election Day. Remember to vote. After you vote, be sure to watch the Eagles beat the Falcons.
by James DeChene
A number of good news items this week helps offset the crummy weather, including Ashland announcing they will be moving their headquarters from Kentucky to Delaware. Also in the news was a group, Capital Ideas, ranking Delaware first in innovation among the 50 states due to the high numbers of innovation patents awarded to Delaware businesses, at a rate of 20 utility patents per 1,000 people. It should come as no surprise that DuPont’s presence in Delaware is a leading reason for our ranking.
Good news this week if you live in Sussex County and you have a computer. Gov. John Carney on Tuesday announced a state initiative to partner with the private sector to bring broadband wireless Internet to underserved areas of rural Kent and Sussex counties.
News of developing the AstraZeneca site on Rt. 202 was welcomed this week. Featuring a mixed use of apartments, shops, restaurants, office space and a hotel, the project has the potential to breathe life back into the corridor, and coupled with the proposed development at 202 and Silverside Road, a lot of new opportunities for businesses to expand or relocate are on the horizon.
Lastly, it was announced that Damian DeStefano will be the new head of the Division of Small Business. You may remember Damian as Governor Markell’s economic development policy advisor. It will be good to work with him again in his new role.
On August 2, ESGR will be having their annual banquet recognizing businesses in the region that go above and beyond in their service to the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. In addition, the Joint Military Affairs Committee of the Delaware State and New Castle County Chambers, along with the Military Affairs Committee of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, will present the Delaware “Warrior Friendly Business Award” to one large and one small business.
This is a great chance to recognize these companies and to learn more about how to better serve our men and women in uniform. This event is a celebration of the win-win situation businesses are finding when they employ service members and veterans. If you are interested in attending, please call Paulette Mason at 302-561-8415 by Friday, July 27.
For the past three years, we’ve been following the appeal of the Delaware and Maryland PSCs to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to grant a rehearing of how a regional power authority (PJM) calculated the cost allocation to cover the building of a transmission power line across from NJ to the Delmarva Peninsula.
On July 19, FERC announced it would grant the rehearing. In the announcement they note:
"…we grant rehearing. Specifically, we find that it is unjust and unreasonable to apply PJM’s solution-based DFAX cost allocation method to Regional Facilities, Necessary Lower Voltage Facilities, and Lower Voltage Facilities that address stability-related reliability issues, including the Artificial Island Project. To determine the just and reasonable rate to be applied, we are establishing paper hearing procedures."
This is good news for Delaware and Maryland rate payers. To recap, previously PJM allocated over 90% of the project cost to be paid for by Delmarva zone ratepayers, driving the cost of power for those receiving less than 10% of the benefit of the line’s use. The estimated project costs are $279 million according to the latest PJM projection, meaning Delmarva Zone customers will be expected to bear responsibility for $250 million. The economic impact to large industrial users would be immense, and for both large and smaller users, concerns over closures and job losses remain.
The Chamber will continue to monitor this issue, and weigh in as appropriate.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.