DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney signed his first Executive Order on Wednesday, establishing a 14-member working group to develop recommendations for implementing a public-private partnership at the Delaware Economic Development Office.
The group will explore how state government can work with the private sector to improve economic development efforts in Delaware, including ways to attract new, growing companies to the state, build a stronger entrepreneurial community, and support innovation.
“We are getting started immediately to make sure Delaware is positioned to secure new, good-paying jobs of the future. This is job one,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware’s economy is in a period of significant transition, and we must adjust our efforts to compete with other states and countries for jobs and talent. Over the next several months, we will work with members of the General Assembly in both parties, and the business community on behalf of the people of Delaware.”
Bernice Whaley, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, will continue in her role while the working group completes its work.
The working group will begin its work in February and report back to Governor Carney by April 7, 2017. The group will include a member from each of the General Assembly’s four caucuses; four representatives from the business community; the Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office; the Governor’s Policy Director; and representatives from the nonprofit sector, higher education, labor and the public.
“A public-private partnership has great potential to open doors for our state’s economic development. We need a collaborative effort to provide the best opportunity for businesses of all sizes to start, grow and thrive,” said House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf. “Governor Carney is taking the first step by bringing all sides to the table to make this a reality. I am looking forward to taking the next step when the group completes its work.”
“I want to thank Governor Carney for making this his top priority on day one,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David B. McBride. “Delaware has come a long way since the recession, but if we’re going to continue to add jobs faster than any state in the region, we need to stay ahead of them. That means rethinking the way our Economic Development Office engages with our state’s vibrant business and entrepreneurial communities in a way that allows us to leverage resources and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
“The world is never static,” said Delaware House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford. “I grew up in a community where a single company, the DuPont Nylon plant, employed thousands of people. Now, most of those jobs are gone. Reassessing our state’s strengths and weaknesses, and adopting policies to capitalize on the former, will ultimately help us foster an environment in which Delaware businesses thrive and new employers are drawn here.”
“I’m glad the business community is really asserting themselves more so than they have in the past. I look forward to working with the Roundtable and Governor Carney on this initiative,” said Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley. “Forming a working group is a good idea and we’ll see what comes out in the end, because as the Governor said, ‘The devil is in the details,’ but anything we can do to strengthen our economic growth and our reach and our impact in state government in working with the private sector, I think we should do.”
“The Business Roundtable and the entire business community welcomes the opportunity to work with Governor Carney, the General Assembly and other stakeholders to help develop a new, collaborative approach to economic development,” said Terry Murphy, President and CEO of Bayhealth and Chairman of the Delaware Business Roundtable. “Properly structured to include leadership and involvement from both the public and private sectors with a focus on emerging business sectors, a new partnership for economic development has the power to be transformative for Delaware.”
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER ONE
TO: HEADS OF ALL STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES RE: CREATING A WORKING GROUP TO CONSIDER A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE DELAWARE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE AND DELAWARE’S BUSINESS COMMUNITY
WHEREAS, Delaware’s economy is undergoing a fundamental shift toward industries and employment that require innovation and higher levels of skill.
WHEREAS, Delaware must embrace this change and focus its economic development efforts on making investments that result in jobs for Delaware workers, maintaining a business climate and infrastructure that supports economic growth, and developing a culture of entrepreneurship to grow the industries and jobs of the future.
WHEREAS, Delaware’s business community has valuable information about emerging markets, the skills needed in a modern workforce, and resources to invest in new opportunities.
WHEREAS, the strength of Delaware’s economy will increasingly rely on identifying opportunities for growth and developing a well-trained workforce to meet the needs of existing and potential Delaware companies.
WHEREAS, allowing the Delaware Economic Development Office to work in partnership with Delaware’s business community will enhance the resources available for job creation and economic growth.
NOW, THEREFORE, I JOHN C. CARNEY, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, do hereby declare and order the following:
1. A working group is hereby established to study how Delaware’s public and private sectors can work together to improve the process of economic development in Delaware, including, in particular, to attract more growing and fledgling companies to the state and to build a stronger entrepreneurial community (the “Working Group”).
2. The Working Group shall consist of no fewer than 14 members to include:
a. Four members of the General Assembly, to include one member from each of the House Majority and Minority caucuses, who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House, and one member from each of the Senate Majority and Minority caucuses, who shall be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate;
b. The Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO);
c. Four members of Delaware’s business community, to be recommended by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce;
d. The Governor’s Policy Director; and
e. Representatives from the higher education, non-profit and labor union communities, and one member of the public, to be appointed by the Governor.
3. The Governor may appoint a chair and vice-chair, or two co-chairs, one each from the public and private sectors.
4. The Governor may increase the size of the Working Group and appoint additional members at his pleasure.
5. The Working Group shall convene in February and shall consider at least the following matters:
a. All duties and responsibilities of DEDO mandated by the Delaware Code and other applicable Delaware law;
b. All additional duties and responsibilities currently being undertaken by DEDO;
c. Current DEDO staffing and funding levels;
d. The extent to which other states in the United States have used public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a tool to promote innovation and build an entrepreneurial community, the significant features of those partnerships and the degree to which they have achieved measurable results; and
e. The conditions necessary to making effective use of a PPP to foster economic development in Delaware.
6. No later than April 7, 2017, the Working Group shall produce a report to the Governor that includes at least the following:
a. Policy recommendations regarding the use of a PPP to foster economic development in Delaware, particularly in the area of strengthening the environment for entrepreneurs;
b. The features essential to the success of any recommended PPP, including but not limited to a proposed governance structure and an estimate of necessary appropriations from the General Assembly;
c. A proposed process and timeline for implementing any policy recommendation; and
d. A draft of any necessary implementing legislation.
7. The Working Group shall dissolve on April 7, 2017 unless reconstituted by further executive order.
APPROVED this 18th date of January 2017.
John C. Carney Governor
ATTEST: ___________________________________ Secretary of State