by Rustyn Stoops
Delaware Technical Community College, The Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP) and the Delaware Manufacturing Association (DMA) joined together in response to Governor Jack Markell’s proclamation of Delaware Manufacturing Week (Sept. 28-Oct 2), which coincides with National Manufacturing Day, October 2. The weeklong celebration of manufacturing in Delaware was created to recognize that manufacturing has a powerful and positive impact on Delaware’s economy.
Delaware Tech’s President, Dr. Mark Brainard, is an advocate for the manufacturing community and is proud of the College’s efforts to work with the DMA and other partners to educate the next generation of modern manufacturing workers in Delaware – from high school students to adult learners.
DEMEP and DMA worked together to organize tours during manufacturing week for high school and college students at several manufacturers throughout the state. Those tours will show the variety of career paths available to Delaware graduates and the value of a technical education. Participating companies include Eagle Group, ILC, PPG, Edgewell Personal Products, DENTSPLY/Caulk, Beracah Homes, Fujifilm and Bloom Energy. Along with showcasing their products these companies are proud to show their modern, high-tech workspaces and value they bring to the Delaware economy and local communities.
To learn more or to get involved in a tour next year, contact me at email@example.com.
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.
by James DeChene
An extension has been granted for those seeking to provide comment on the complaint filed by the Public Service Commissions of Delaware and Maryland against PJM Interconnection and the PJM Transmission Owners regarding the manner in which costs will be allocated for a new transmission project, Artificial Island. PJM proposes to allocate over 90% of the costs for the new project to ratepayers in Delaware and Maryland, raising the transmission portion of our electricity bills by 20 to 25 percent to solve a problem the ratepayers of Delaware and Maryland did not cause.
At issue here is the way in which PJM calculates who bears the cost of projects like these. Factors such as project size and scope, as well as the reason for the project, such as line stability or easing congestions are also taken into consideration. The filed complaint seeks PJM to reconsider how the allocation is to be applied in an effort to reduce Delaware’s responsibility and to help mitigate the hit to residential and industrial rate payers.
The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Manufacturing Association will be weighing in, and urge any interested companies to join them in doing so. There is no cost, and the effort consists of writing a letter supporting the Delaware and Maryland PSC position. For more information on how to file, contact James DeChene at 302-5786-6560, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James DeChene
The News Journal recently highlighted the expansion of Delaware’s Pathways to Prosperity program, featuring the advanced manufacturing component currently entering its second year in New Castle County, and entering its pilot year in Sussex County. The program was spearheaded through a partnership between the Delaware Manufacturing Association, Del Tech, the Markell Administration and the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership as a way to provide advanced manufacturing skills in high school to help prepare students for either a career directly out of high school, or as a spring board to an advanced degree in fields such as mechanical or electrical engineering. The first year saw over 30 enrolled in the program, featuring both classroom and hands on training, with a paid summer “craftsmanship” (think internship, but more hands on) following. Graduates of the two year program will receive a nationally recognized certificate giving them a head start on the hiring process.