by Mark DiMaio
In 2017, we invited Chamber members to participate in a survey to gauge their view of Delaware's economic health, and provide input on policy priorities. Listed below are the top four, along with ways the Chamber is addressing them.
1. Economic Development
The Chamber is dedicated to promoting an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of Delaware businesses and benefits citizens of the state.
2. Cost of Health Care
The Chamber recognizes the growing problem surrounding health care costs.
3. Government Spending
We will continue to advocate for structural changes to Delaware’s budget. Delaware needs fiscal policies that foster business growth and advance the state’s long-term economic future.
4. Education Reform (K-12)
Improving education outcomes is a key factor in developing a skilled workforce and attracting new business to Delaware.
by Mark DiMaio
The future is now for expanding the state’s manufacturing sector. While manufacturing jobs in Delaware continue to increase at a modest pace, building blocks have been put into place to spring Delaware forward. Delaware manufacturing will need to combine organic growth with the long-term development of heavier industries in abandoned and underutilized locations. The modernized Coastal Zone Act should propel new investment in Delaware’s manufacturing sector.
In order for Delaware manufacturing to flourish, a strong and skilled workforce in essential. Many Delaware manufacturers are working with Delaware Technical Community College’s workforce training department to develop future employees to handle the rigors of 21st century advanced manufacturing. This advanced training is needed to develop skilled employees to replace older workers who are retiring. In addition to instruction in subjects such as computer programming and robotics, training also focuses on developing better ‘soft’ skills, such as leadership, teamwork and problem-solving, in order to compete in the modern workplace.
The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Manufacturing Association invite you to learn more the about the future of Delaware Manufacturing at the Spring Legislative Brunch & Manufacturing Conference.
Contributed by DSCC Member Adesis
Adesis, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED), today announced that it will open a new suite of state-of-the-art laboratories in Delaware and expand its organic chemistry team and R&D programs. This additional footprint is expected to help drive growth opportunities in areas including next-generation OLED (organic light emitting diode) emitter and host materials and meet the growing demand for the Company’s custom organic synthesis, research & development, and specialty manufacturing services. Adesis also announced that it became a sponsor of Delaware Innovation Space (DISI) and joined its entrepreneurial innovation community. Working with DISI, Adesis signed an agreement for approximately 7,000 square feet of laboratory space at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware. The new suite of laboratories, which includes additional ancillary work and meeting space, is expected to augment Adesis’ on-going operations and recently-purchased 47,500 square feet headquarter building in New Castle.
“Delaware is home to a number of great chemical and manufacturing companies like Adesis, who are committed to making a world-class product with a great local workforce,” said U.S. Senator Christopher Coons (D-Del.). “I am delighted to see Adesis and their parent company UDC grow in Delaware as they expand their market reach and product offerings to more users around the world.”
“We are pleased to announce our expanding footprint and increased investment to further boost research, innovation and job opportunities in Delaware,” said Andrew Cottone, President of Adesis, Inc. “As a leading organic synthesis CRO (contract research organization), we are adding to and extending our discovery services and process development capacity for customers across the pharmaceutical, chemical, biomaterials, and catalysts industries. We are enhancing our productivity and effectiveness by streamlining the technology transfer and optimizing the workflow from basic research to specialty manufacturing. Furthermore, by co-locating in our New Castle headquarters and the Experimental Station, we believe that we are building a world-class technology and manufacturing hub to support our customers from innovation to commercialization.”
“Adesis continues to invest in Delaware, and we are thrilled that the company will bring its long track record of innovation to the Delaware Innovation Space,” said Governor John Carney. “We partnered with DuPont and the University of Delaware to create the Innovation Space to foster growth of early-stage scientific-based companies, and encourage collaboration among Delaware’s most talented innovators. The addition of Adesis will support that mission, and we’re thankful for the company’s continued partnership.”
This recent expansion by Adesis was rapidly enabled by the seamless cooperation of the Delaware government and business leaders who have fostered a robust scientific ecosystem.
“The Delaware Innovation Space is pleased to be able to support the growing needs of Adesis and accelerate its business forward right here in Delaware,” said Bill Provine, CEO of the Delaware Innovation Space. “Adesis will be a great new member of our science-based innovation community, and we look forward to working with them to further capitalize on the strengths of our new entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Adesis has also been assisted by the newly formed Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP). The DPP was recently created by Delaware as a public/private partnership to accelerate economic development efforts.
“It has been a pleasure working with Andrew Cottone and Adesis to help facilitate their Delaware expansion, both in New Castle and at the Delaware Innovation Space,” said John Riley, Interim CEO of the DPP. “This would have been difficult to accomplish had the State, DuPont, and the University of Delaware not set the foundation for success with the formation of the Delaware Innovation Space earlier this year.”
by James DeChene
The December labor report was recently released and shows that in 2016 Delaware had a net increase of 350 new jobs over the course of the year, and 2017 is looking to be the same, though there may even be a slight net loss for the year. The January report will reflect what truly happened in 2017, but odds are it won’t be pretty. Surrounding states have seen higher growth than Delaware: Maryland at 2%, Pennsylvania and New Jersey at over 1% - while we are shrinking, they are growing.
This week, members of the Joint Finance Committee started their budget process. Over the next five weeks, members will review agency budgets and various funding requests, including Grant in Aid, and will work to craft a spending plan using the Governor’s recommended budget as a starting point. While forecasted revenues show a 6% increase over last year’s, next year’s growth number is back under 2%. The challenge will be for legislators to be spendthrifts during a time of increased revenues, and planning for the out-years where spending obligations will continue to outgrow revenue. Not an easy task in an election year. More info to come as it develops.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.