by James DeChene
Recently Bloomberg magazine ran an article ranking the top 100 metro areas by their number of STEM jobs, and Wilmington was #18. Capturing these “advanced industries” as a way to replace high paying manufacturing jobs that have either been relocated or eliminated, the article points out investments various metro areas have made to entice companies to stay and expand—ideas like “tactical urbanism” including craft beer and food trucks, turning former industrial spaces into lofts—all are things the City of Wilmington has been focused on, and rightly so.
Another positive is Delaware’s low cost of living. On the ranking, Wilmington comes in at 29.
The State Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Manufacturing Association have been a part of the STEM movement in Delaware. The successful launch of the Advanced Manufacturing curriculum between DelTech and local high schools has led to a downstate expansion of the program, with Kent County to follow in the next year. Other schools coming on line like the Delaware STEM Academy will give Delaware students the opportunity to learn skills in high demand for the future, and the hope is that there will be local companies waiting for, and grabbing up, these students to grow the state’s STEM workforce by leaps and bounds.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.