The Partnership, Inc. is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to foster private sector involvement in workforce development to attract, develop, and retain intellectual capital that will serve as the future workforce for Delaware businesses.
Last month, the State Chamber announced the addition of Intern Delaware under its umbrella, which led to the creation of the program manager position. We are happy to welcome Alexis Williams to the team! She will manage The Partnership's four flagship programs: Intern Delaware, Superstars in Education, Delaware Principal for a Day, and the Delaware Young Professionals Network.
GET TO KNOW ALEXIS:
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Clayton, Delaware.
That means we need to ask what high school did you go to?
I graduated from Smyrna High School. Go Eagles!
What excites you most about this position?
I grew up in a family of educators and saw first-hand how they played a key role in equipping students with the knowledge and skills to become contributing members of their communities. My personal experience going through Delaware’s public school system combined with my master’s degree in student affairs in higher education, as well as being a young professional myself, makes me the perfect fit for this role as program manager. I look forward to building relationships with Delaware’s business community and connecting employers with young talent, and vice versa!
One of the programs you will be responsible for is Intern Delaware. What was your favorite internship and why?
I interned for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance in 2018. I had two consecutive internships, one with the director of events and one with the Women2Women program. At that time, I didn't truly know what direction I wanted to go towards when it came to my career. My time at the chamber was invaluable because I met so many people and learned about so many businesses — that experience really shaped my career and time in school. It also led me to this position!
What guiding principles or values do you apply to your work?
Two important guiding principles that I practice regularly are empathy and the concept of meeting people where they are. One never truly knows what another person is going through, especially now during a pandemic. I learned about intersectionality a few years ago — a concept surrounding the idea that everyone has their own journey and identities and faces unique challenges. Empathy and trying to understand someone else’s perspective is crucial in my work. Along the same lines, I try to meet people where they are. We all come from different backgrounds with varied experiences that inform our daily lives. As best as I can, I try to level-set and move forward from that point instead of assuming that everyone is always on the same page.
Best leadership advice you've received.
There is no singular best way to lead. In a leadership class I took in grad school, we often outlined examples and types of leaders, and I was inundated with models of what is considered a “good leader.” I concluded that leaders don’t always fit into boxes or categories. Leaders are adaptable, responsive, and reflective.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have two:
“The world can only thrive when people know what they’re talking about. Find the thing that makes you want to know what you’re talking about. Then talk about it.” - Ruth Chang
“Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
I love both of these quotes. I would describe myself as passionately curious. I get excited about projects, I love learning new things, and I am grateful to have the opportunity through The Partnership to be passionately curious about education, opportunities, and workforce development in Delaware.
What do you love most about Delaware?
I love how small, yet big Delaware can be at the same time. Whenever I go somewhere, I'm likely to not only run into someone I know but also meet someone new. I love how connected the community is!
Do you have a favorite Delaware spot?
I’ll give a favorite spot in each county! In Kent County, I love Big Oak Park. I’ve spent a lot of time there over the years having picnics with my younger sister, walking the trails, and even watching my grandfather play baseball. In Sussex County, I most often find myself visiting Cape Henlopen State Park. The beach, the trails, the historic buildings — they’re all great. Lastly, in New Castle County, my favorite spot is Middletown as a whole. I love all the places to shop, eat, and explore!
Give us your top three books or podcasts.