by Chip Rossi
DSCC Chairman of the Board
The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors met with the candidates for the special election in Senate District 10. Both candidates shared their thoughts on how to turn Delaware’s economy around and improve education. Each acknowledged that Delaware’s economy and budget should be the primary focus of the Delaware General Assembly and the Governor – and need to be addressed.
After the presentations, the Chamber’s Board of Directors discussed if the Chamber should endorse a candidate. Both candidates presented well and focused their remarks on many of the things the Chamber advocates for every day, including the growth of small business, infrastructure, good jobs and safe, healthy communities throughout the state of Delaware.
Our focus quickly shifted from the candidates themselves to what this election means long-term for Delaware.
The spirited discussion that followed highlighted the importance of a change election if Delaware is to improve its political and economic standing. We find ourselves, year after year, facing budget deficits that underscore a fundamentally broken system and legislative remedies that are too often short-sighted. Given the urgency of the moment, the questions raised by the Board included:
For all the reasons stated above, this district election has statewide impacts. The answers to these questions, and others, are critical if Delaware is going to succeed as a place where businesses want to relocate or expand, where families want to raise their children, and where those children don’t have to leave our state to find gainful employment.
On February 25th, the voters in the 10th Senate District have an opportunity to consider these questions and determine the path forward.
Read coverage of this piece in The News Journal here.
by James DeChene
A reminder for residents of the 10th Senate District, as if you needed one with all the mailers, ads, door knockers and other campaign activities blanketing the area, that the special election is Saturday, February 25th.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors message on what we feel voters should focus on can be best summed up as:
It's common knowledge that Delaware likes it's food - one of the reasons we love our Taste of Delaware event at the Capitol each year. It's also why culinary arts programs are popular tracks for students to follow, and why you can bet these students are serving up delicious meals.
When you are deciding where to go for lunch, or who to cater your board meeting, Wilmington certainly offers a wide variety of options. We highly recommend adding Delcastle Technical High School to that list.
Delcastle Technical High School has been a Taste of Delaware participant for several years now. Taste of Delaware caters to more than 600 attendees, featuring over 20 Delaware food and drink vendors. Sophomores and juniors in the culinary arts program, and who are part of the school's Cooks and Bakers Club, join us and Senator Coons' staff before the event begins to help set up the area and help vendors with their equipment and food. During the event, they man registration and run errands and items for our vendors in order to keep things running smoothly. We appreciate the extra hands on deck, and they get a first hand look at a culinary event of large proportion, from beginning to end.
This week, some of our staff visited the instructional staff and students of the culinary arts program at Delcastle for lunch at Binders Cafe. We were blown away!
This week's menu boasted chicken stir fry made to order, cajun shrimp over greens with a citrus vinaigrette, and perch tacos with pineapple rice. Don't forget the chicken noodle and butternut squash soups, Delcastle's own homemade potato chips, or the grab-and-go selections of pre-made wraps and sandwiches. The dessert of the day was German chocolate cake, but we were too fond of their signature chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. We were seated and served by students, who learn customer service skills as well during their studies, and were treated with fresh rolls and blueberry sweet potato bread, served with cinnamon butter.
Delcastle's culinary arts program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to reach competency in major areas of food preparation. Students are expected to work in all areas of the culinary arts field, including dining room operations, cooking, bakeshop, and pastry making. They will be expected to work individually, in groups, and in a professional kitchen brigade to experience a wide range of learning experiences in keeping with industry expectations. Those who have demonstrated a mastery of the major culinary learning targets will have the opportunity to experience extended cooperative employment in their senior year. Students are able to earn college credit through Tech Prep Agreements with area and out of state colleges. Students also have the opportunity to earn ServSafe Sanitation certification (a nationally recognized certification that lasts for five years).
The Cooks and Bakers Club is a volunteer cooking troupe that serves several purposes: to introduce children to the science of cooking (Delcastle students volunteer at places like Ronald McDonald House to teach resident children), to help prepare students for state and national cooking competitions, and to further their training through community service learning projects, like baking cookies for each Delaware police officer every year, and 'living classroom' experiences, such as the Taste of Delaware.
We thank the staff and students and Binders Cafe for hosting us!
Call the school at (302) 995-8100 to inquire about Binders Cafe catering and dining.
Delcastle Technical High School students helped vendors prep their tables and serve attendees at the 6th Annual Taste of Delaware.
Students assisted with event setup by unloading vendor equipment from the docking area.
Delcastle Technical High School students in the Capitol Building.
DSCC staff with sophomore chefs-in-training, who were able to join us for dessert this week at Binders Cafe.
by James DeChene
A recent article highlighted 2 dozen businesses leaving California in the wake of the passage of Prop 30, which amounted to a $6 billion increase in taxes in the Golden State. A recruitment drive by neighboring Arizona, which boasts lower taxes, a streamlined permitting process, and a reduction in other business regulations, has led to an influx of 50,000 people moving into Phoenix in the last year, while California has seen a net migration of 100,000 leaving the state. Other contrasts include California considering another paid holiday for state employees, while Arizona has placed a moratorium on new business regulations. While California ranks dead last by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Arizona is ranked 8th, and Delaware is 34th.
There are important takeaways applicable to Delaware from the linked-to article and study. Namely that as the General Assembly focuses its attention on expanding regulations on businesses and expanding benefits to state employees, instead of focusing on how to make Delaware more attractive for businesses not just to incorporate but to relocate here, other states are going to continue to eat our lunch.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.