Tag: Science and Technology

WuXi STA Project Earns Delaware a Business Facilities Impact Award in the Biosciences Sector

Delaware Prosperity Partnership’s WuXi STA Project Earns Delaware a Business Facilities Impact Award in the Biosciences Sector

DPP wins Business Facilities Impact Award 2021

January 18, 2022 

Wilmington, Del. — Delaware and its public-private economic development group, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) were recognized with a Business Facilities 2021 Impact Award in the Biosciences category for successfully attracting WuXi STA – a leading global Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) – to build a new pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in Middletown, Delaware. This $510M investment aims to add nearly 500 jobs to Delaware’s booming biotech industry in the next few years. WuXi STA offers efficient, flexible, and high-quality integrated solutions for development and manufacture of small molecule Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and pharmaceutical drug product to support preclinical-to-commercial uses for its worldwide customers. The Middletown facility is WuXi STA’s first East Coast pharmaceutical clinical and commercial manufacturing complex.

This recognition reflects Delaware’s long-standing strength and capacity in the biosciences sector. The number of life sciences operations in Delaware has grown significantly in the past decade — most notably in the biotechnology R&D subindustry with an increase of 65% — and the state now ranks 7th nationally for life sciences venture capital funding per capita.

A powerful economic driver in Delaware, the life sciences sector employs approximately 11,000 people and directly generates $2 billion in GDP (both 2.5% of total state employment and GDP) along with payrolls of at least $230 million.

DPP, Delaware’s nonprofit public-private economic development resource, partnered with a host of stakeholders throughout Delaware including the Town of Middletown, the Delaware Division of Small Business, New Castle County, Select Greater Philadelphia, and others to support WuXi STA’s choice of Delaware for its site. Hiring has already begun for the project, adding its nearly 500 full-time jobs to Delaware’s world-class innovative workforce by 2026 and eventually expanding to more than 1,000 employees.

The 190-acre site will feature space for testing laboratories, manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients and manufacture and packaging of solid dosage pharmaceutical and sterile products.

“Now in its fourth year of operation, the DPP team is proving that the public-private economic development model works well to leverage Delaware’s distinctive capacity to collaborate,” said Corporation Service Company President Rod Ward III, who, along with Delaware Governor John Carney, co-chairs the DPP Board of Directors.

About Business Facilities

The leading source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years, highlights economic development and site selection news from around the world. 2021 Deal of the Year judges were Howard Silverman, President and CEO, The CAI Global Group; Philip Anderson, President and CEO, P.W. Anderson & Partners; David Hickey, Managing Director, Hickey & Associates; Angelos Angelou, President of Angelou Economics.

About WuXi STA

WuXi STA, a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, is a leading pharmaceutical development and manufacturing capability and technology platform company serving the life sciences industry, with global operations. As a premier contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), WuXi STA offers its worldwide partners efficient, flexible, and high-quality solutions for integrated chemical, manufacturing and control (CMC) from preclinical to commercial uses.

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting, and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors. 

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

MRA Group Signs Lease at Chestnut Run

MRA Group Signs First Long-Term Lease at Chestnut Run Innovation & Science Park in Wilmington, Delaware

MRA Group in Wilmington DE

December 23, 2021 –

WILMINGTON, Del. – MRA Group (MRA)  announced that on November 30, 2021, it signed the first long-term lease for research and laboratory facilities at Chestnut Run Innovation & Science Park (CRISP), MRA’s recently announced life science and manufacturing campus in Wilmington, DE.

Prelude Therapeutics Incorporated (Prelude Therapeutics)  is the first major tenant at CRISP, aside from DuPont who is currently leasing approximately 190,000 square feet of space on the campus. However, according to Mike Wojewodka, MRA Group Executive Vice President and Partner, “Activity has been brisk, with a significant pipeline of prospects looking at the various options on the campus.”

“MRA’s acquisition of a significant portion of the Chestnut Run property is great news for Delaware and the state’s role in an ever-expanding life sciences sector,” said Kurt Foreman, President & CEO of Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “We can think of no better location for an innovation park than the place that includes the DuPont Company’s global headquarters. DuPont began Delaware’s tradition in breakthrough innovation and now with MRA’s acquisition that tradition will continue raising the bar for transformative developments created through scientific research.”

“Since our founding in 2016, Prelude Therapeutics has proudly contributed to the growth of an evolving biotech hub in the Wilmington area,” said Kris Vaddi, PhD, Chief Executive Officer. “We believe our planned state-of-the-art office and lab space, and centrality to a life sciences campus, will enable us to continue attracting top-tier, diverse talent to our exceptional team. We look forward to establishing our new headquarters in Chestnut Run as we continue to advance our pipeline of potentially transformative medicines for people living with underserved cancers. We thank the State of Delaware for its ongoing investment in building an entrepreneurial and connected business community.”

“This is great news,” stated Delaware BioScience Association President Michael Fleming. “Prelude Therapeutics’ decision to make their new long-term home at CRISP underlines the significant momentum and opportunity in the Delaware life sciences sector. Prelude’s new, expanded presence in that exciting site will undoubtedly be a magnet for more innovative science companies there and in other great locations, our state offers. Most importantly, we should remember this significant investment and the new jobs it has the potential to create is all focused on the hard but noble work of developing breakthrough therapies for patients with some of the most difficult and deadly cancers, and for that we should be grateful. We look forward to continuing to partner with the MRA Group to ensure CRISP flourishes as a thriving hub of scientific investment.”

“This is how we win the future,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “A homegrown, innovative advanced sciences startup is choosing to stay home, thanks to the investment of MRA Group and the collaborative efforts of state and county governments and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

“The construction of Prelude Therapeutics’ new headquarters is included in the initial phase of MRA’s $500M redevelopment plans for the campus. Other plans include creating additional R&D laboratories, and advanced manufacturing space, as well as campus amenities such as a hotel, a fitness center, conference space, an outdoor amphitheater, and accommodations for food services including restaurants and eateries. More information regarding CRISP can be found on the campus website at www.crisp-campus.net.

Kurt Foreman


Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Analytical Biological Services Chooses to Expand in Delaware

Analytical Biological Services Inc. To Grow Operations and Team in Delaware

analytical biological services inc. expands in Delaware

Company Plans $4.2 Million Renovation of New Castle Office and Lab Space, Doubling of Workforce Over Next Three Years

WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware’s booming life sciences sector continues to expand with plans by Analytical Biological Services Inc. (ABS) to double its workforce over the next three years.

The internationally recognized bioscience services company is retrofitting 30,000 square feet of space in New Castle for its new office headquarters and lab space. The expansion, supported by two grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund, will allow the company to meet significant projected growth and add 36 new high-paying, full-time, skilled trade and professional-level positions – more than doubling its current workforce – to the state’s economy.

Since 1990, ABS has provided cell culture services, gene editing, human biospecimens, cell and tissue preparations and analyses, and samples storage. ABS provides these research services to nearly every major pharmaceutical and biotechnology company in the world that is involved in early-stage drug discovery or diagnostics research.

“We are proud to have a number of startup science and tech companies here in Delaware,” said Governor John Carney. “When we realized we had a shortage of lab space for them to use as they grow their business, we made sure there was funding available for what we call Lab Space Grants. The life science industry is essential to both public health and Delaware’s economic future. We are pleased that Lab Space Grants are making a difference for companies like ABS, because we want companies that start here to stay and grow here.”

ABS leadership presented to the Council on Development Finance (CDF) today, requesting a Performance Grant of $262,260 and $1 million from Delaware’s relatively new Lab Space Grant incentive program.

The Performance Grant, to be drawn over the next three years, is for the creation of 36 new full-time high-quality Delaware jobs ranging from skilled trade to professional level. Qualified Delaware residents will have first opportunity for employment with ABS in the newly grant-supported created positions.

ABS will lease 30,000 square feet of a 48,000-square-foot office building in New Castle that will be purchased by ABS BioAccelerator LLC, a separate but related entity. The company will renovate 10,000 square feet for offices, and the Lab Space Grant will help ABS invest $3.7 million to renovate 20,000 of those square feet (at roughly $188.13 per square foot) for lab space. The grant requires ABS to remain in Delaware for five years.

“Congratulations to Analytical Biological Services Inc. on their continued investment in our state and our county,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “We are thankful for ABS as they grow their company and expand Delaware’s reputation as the place to find talent in the life sciences arena. I wish ABS continued luck and growth into the future.”

The company, which employs 33 full-time workers at its current location in Wilmington’s Cornell Business Park, has achieved considerable growth in recent years. That growth has been driven by investment in a larger and more highly trained business development team, along with continuous improvement of processes and business systems. Their ability to increase revenues has resulted in what will now be further investment in more staff and equipment — all to remain right here in Delaware.

In 2019, ABS engaged the services of Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) — Delaware’s nonprofit public-private economic development organization facilitating the important conversations that drive growth, increase investment and support the talent needs of statewide employers — to help identify suitable R&D and lab space to accommodate their expanding needs.

Charles Saller, Ph.D., sole owner, president and CEO of ABS, said: “Our roots are in Delaware. ABS was founded in Delaware. We work with Delaware organizations such as Incyte and the Gene-Editing Institute of ChristianaCare to foster drug discovery research. New laboratories and headquarters are major investments, and the Strategic Fund Grants are essential in enabling us to continue to grow in Delaware. We are grateful to DDP and the State of Delaware for making this possible.”

In all, ABS will invest $4.2 million in the renovation project. The remaining 18,000 square feet of space in the new building may be reserved for potential ABS company growth. ABS and ABS Bio Accelerator LLC also may consider leasing space to other early-stage bioscience companies, which could be strategic partners as ABS continues to grow.


About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting, and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

About Analytical Biological Services Inc.

Since 1990, ABS has made research and discovery faster, easier and more reliable. Nearly every major pharmaceutical and biotech company have relied on us to provide, process, characterize, and quality-control high-quality cells and tissues. By taking care of these non-core but critical research activities, ABS frees drug discovery and diagnostics companies focus on their key scientific and business goals. As a global provider of custom biological products and services, our team supplies with Cell Culture Services, Gene-Editing and CRISPR, Human Biospecimens, Cell and Tissue Preparations and Analyses, and Sample Storage and Logistics.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Desikant Technologies Help Surgeons Keep Cool

Helping Surgeons Keep Their Cool

EDGE grant recipient desikant technologies

December 1, 2021 –

Wilmington-based Desikant Technologies Creates “Smart Garments” to Beat the Heat

It is a classic scene from a TV medical drama. As a surgeon stands over the operating table, a nurse reaches up to dab the doctor’s damp brow. By the time the life-or-death procedure is over, the surgeon is soaked with sweat.

For many physicians, the depiction is all too real. For hours at a time, they wear scrubs, sterile gowns, masks, gloves, hats and other gear that trap warm, humid air against their bodies. Overheating can affect concentration and cause dehydration.

Wilmington-based Desikant Technologies has a solution. Founded in 2019, the startup creates thermoregulation “smart garments,” including a cooling vest that prevents heat exhaustion. The innovation has received encouragement. In April, Desikant Technologies received the top $75,000 prize in the Delaware Innovation Award Category at Startup 302, a funding competition organized by Delaware Prosperity Partnership. The Delaware Division of Small Business provided the funds for the award. In August, the company received an Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) Grant from the division.

The company is the dream of Kwaku Temeng, a former DuPont Co. employee turned entrepreneur. “Since my days at DuPont, there was something in me that wanted to start a company to solve an important problem,” he says. “I knew that one day I would start a venture.”

Born in Ghana, Temeng came to the United States to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and a master’s in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His career with the DuPont Co. brought him to Delaware in the early 1990s. “I haven’t moved away from the state since,” he says.

Indeed, Temeng remained a Delaware resident after becoming the director of innovation for Baltimore-based Under Armour. He continued living in Delaware after joining Dropel Fabrics in New York, an early-stage startup that develops and manufactures performance garments using sustainable natural fabrics, not synthetics.

Commuting by train gave Temeng time to think about how heat stress affects athletes. “Stamina drops quite a bit, and the ability to focus on the activity suffers,” he explains. “When the body can’t cool itself down, there’s the risk of dehydration.”

In mid-2020, Temeng founded Desikant Technologies’ startup. He reached out to Alisa Esposito, an Under Armour colleague who built high-performance garments for Olympic athletes and electronic-integrated apparel. She agreed to be the vice president of technical design. Joel Melnick, an electrical engineer who had built flight-control systems for Boeing and designed devices for surgeons, became the chief technical officer.

The first product is a vest for the surgical market. Worn over scrubs and under the gown, the vest has sensors that detect when the body overheats. Sophisticated electronics in the apparel actively replace the warm, humid air around the body with cool, dry air. The Army bought the initial prototype; the second will be tested in operating rooms. The team will then tackle applications for outdoor activities, such as hiking and running.

The Ideal Location on the East Coast

With the grants, Desikant is looking for office space. “Delaware’s position along the East Coast is ideal,” Temeng says. “It’s near New York’s fashion industry and Baltimore, where there is a community experienced in building high-performance products. There are a bunch of potential partners that make electronics.” Consider the DuPont Co., which has an electronic materials business.

While at DuPont, Temeng once spent up to 80 hours a week on an internet-based project. He remembers the sense of satisfaction – a sentiment he hopes to experience next year when, hopefully, Desikant Technologies’ vest will be available.

“When you bring a solution to market and see people adapt it,” he says, “it’s a wonderful feeling.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Zip Code Wilmington Move to Virtual Learning Brings New Opportunities

Zip Code Wilmington Move to Virtual Learning Opened Doors for New Opportunities

virtual learning at Zip Code WIlmington

Success for Zip Code Wilmington can be defined in many ways, but Executive Director Desa Burton lights up when she talks about a recent student who loaded everything he owned into a car and drove to Wilmington from Dallas to join the program.

“He had every intention of going back to Texas, but he got a job here and is very happy. We have students who come to us from across the United States and its territories, such as Atlanta, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, who are applying for or now have jobs here in Wilmington,” Burton says, adding that about 75% of her students stay in Delaware after graduation. “Zip Code attracts high-level talent to this area. Wherever these out-of-state students are, opportunities are not working for them so they’re willing to move here. Now we’re working on introducing more businesses outside our region to see that Delaware checks all the boxes for their employees in terms of quality of life, housing affordability, infrastructure, and resources available for young families.”

Considered one of the nation’s top three nonprofits of its type, Zip Code Wilmington is a 12-week coding bootcamp that gives students the technical, interpersonal, and leadership skills needed to secure a competitive developer job and increase their earning potential. Burton beams when asked about the non-technical part of the curriculum.

“We have an amazing professional development program. Sometimes that’s all I hear about in the final interviews,” says Burton. “Our hiring manager has more than 10 years of improv experience and he uses that to help the students with active listening, being able to answer questions, and move and flow in different interview settings. They get a resume when they leave. We help them create or fix up their LinkedIn profiles. We work with them on networking and teaching them how to do that. It’s really neat to see how having that secret sauce really makes such a big difference in the outcome of the student.”

Zip Code Wilmington’s training program offers two course tracks – full-stack Java Development with Spring Boot, Angular, and MySQL as well as Data Engineering and Analytics based on Python, R, and SQL.

When Burton arrived at Zip Code Wilmington in September 2019 – armed with an MBA and law degree she earned after leaving the military — she says she was “basically being put in charge of a very successful startup and being told not to break it.” Besides having to learn human resources, finance, accounting, she was suddenly being asked to “think not like a lawyer, but like a businessperson, especially when COVID hit.”

“We had to be innovative. We had to be scrappy. We had to get out there and make changes in the midst of a crisis,” she said.

Asked about her student demographics, Burton says the answer is different today than it was when she became executive director.

“I would have just told you then average age 35, career changers, adult learners,” she says. “After putting in all these innovative new programs, I can tell you we teach people 16 years old to 60. We were in seven high schools last year, teaching front-end software development.” Teaching in Delaware’s high schools is new. Burton explains, “Zip Code Wilmington is well known for training up folks who may or may not have gone to college, have some work experience or who may have already been in their career 5, 10, 15 years, and are either looking to change because the end is coming, or they don’t want to go back to school to get another degree if they have a degree. Some tried the degree route but didn’t like it or didn’t have the money for it. For some reason, they’re at a place where they need to get into tech and this is the way that they want to do it, through a 12-week course. As we view it, talent is distributed evenly, but opportunity is not. We provide opportunities!”

It costs Zip Code Wilmington $15,000 to train someone, although students will not pay more than $12,000. It costs a student $6,000 upfront to enter the program. If they get a job with a corporate partner, that company will pay the remaining $9,000. If they get a job with a non-corporate partner, they’re responsible for the remaining $6,000.

There are “scholarships” for students who served in the military or fall into a “needs-based category (i.e., 200% below the poverty line). Burton says those are the only ways that students don’t pay that initial tuition.

Placement fell in 2020 during the pandemic, when companies froze a lot of positions, to 61%, from previous years when Zip Code Wilmington placed students at a rate approaching 90% within six months. But Burton says things are picking up, with JPMorgan Chase announcing in January that they hired more than 30 Zip Coders in 2020. For now, the size of the cohorts reflects job placement forecasts – from 35 before the pandemic to 25 over the past 18-24 months – but placement is returning to an average of 80% and cohort size should return to normal the economy improves.

Making the Switch to Virtual Learning

Zip Code Wilmington had to be nimble and switch to training remotely in March 2020.

“Our instructors were concerned that the students would not have the same experience, that they would not bond as well, that they would not retain the knowledge as well,” says Burton. “I knew that this was not going to be a two-week deal, so we needed to figure out how to make it work and be remote for an extended period. We launched virtual training on March 13th.”

Zip Code started off with Zoom sessions but supplemented it with collaboration platforms such as Discord and Slack.

“Communication between the students never dropped. They can work freely together in a remote environment, connect with each other at will,” Burton says. “Everyone thought you must be next to each other to code, to look at each other’s screen, and touch each other’s keyboard. But now that we’re remote, everything is virtual. They’re able to meet, deliver training, edit code, and connect online seamlessly.”

“I told every remote student that they could set up a time to come in and meet with an instructor who can work with them in person. On the first day, they asked about it but once they started working online, no one asked again. It just worked out really well.”

Burton says there hasn’t been any difference in picking up the material between different age groups or other demographics.

“I think a virtual environment makes it much easier for people to just judge you based on your merit. I think in a virtual environment you have less of that “ism” happening because if an employer really needs to get a product off the line, they need to get coders in ASAP. The last thing they’re worried about is what are you wearing because guess what? They’re seeing you on a remote screen and they’re really focusing more on your code than anything else.”

Burton says Zip Coders are different from students that are going through the for-profit programs around the country, most of whom don’t disclose their placement rates and other outcomes like her organization does.

“Zip Coders are just different. They’re team players. They are hungry for change. They are committed, dedicated. There is just something about their personality that is so cool. I hear it a lot from candidates for our program. Other coding bootcamps are mostly for-profit. They’ve got to make money. They need to get people through the door and churn them through to get the tuition and then churn through the next one. They’re not really focused on figuring out the quality of the education that they’re given, because they don’t have to worry about that. We stick with our students for the next three to six months to make sure they get a job. We are incentivized to do so because we are transparent in our outcomes and report them on our website. Also, we do not receive the remainder of their tuition until our graduates get their first job.”

“Our mission is to help build the economy of this region. I can’t do that if people are coming in and not getting jobs. I can’t bring in 200 people during COVID when I know there’s no jobs out there, just so that I have money in my bank account. That doesn’t work. And so that’s why we’re different. They can train regardless of what’s happening in the economic environment. I cannot.”

Employers who had job freezes in 2020 are coming back too.

“Pre-COVID, some employers were consistently hiring. They were there for every power interview week, which is that week after the students finish the training. Other employers were periodic and would show up at certain points of the year. I’m seeing more activity now from both those who consistently hired and from those periodic employers. They’re coming in more often and they’re hiring more people.”

Online training is here to stay at Zip Code Wilmington. Burton says, “Because of what we learned during COVID, because of the fact we were able to do remote training and broaden our outreach, and I want to continue to do that. Not to the detriment of the region, but to attract people here.”

Companies often send their employees to Zip Code for either upskilling or reskilling, two fairly interchangeable terms. They may send someone who’s been in customer service for 10 years, knows everything about the company and its culture, but they want to put them into a technical role. Or they were in a testing role of some kind but want to expose them to Java programming. Or they invite Zip Code in to teach a group of people a skill, particularly if they want to improve their diversity (DE&I) numbers.

“In some cases, they want to move the needle in a very short period of time,” says Burton, adding that larger companies often go into universities and hire diverse people who don’t have technical skills and ask Zip Code to teach them how to be coders.

Enrollment over time has been about 31% female and about the same for Black and Latino students. The program was designed to lower the barriers of entry – making the training accessible and affordable to all – which has resulted in remarkable diversity outcomes over its six-year history.

Looking ahead over the next 12 to 15 months, Burton would like to get its placement numbers back up to pre-COVID levels or better; incorporate online learning into the strategy of Zip Code going forward; and get into more high schools to do front-end training and expose students to coding possibilities.

“Right now, about 65% of Delaware public schools have computer-science training; I think the state should be in the 90s, whether that’s with us, with Pathways, or a university,” Burton says.

As far as industries go, Zip Code Wilmington works mainly with the financial sector with companies like Chase, M&T Bank, CSC, Marlette Funding, and Capital One. “I would like to broaden that and get our eggs into some other baskets,” says Burton, adding that InterDigital came through “in a big way” over this past summer by giving Zip Code Wilmington the money to launch that program in those high schools across the state.

“I was talking to a couple of cohort graduates yesterday who met at Zip Code and now have a young daughter. They told me that because of Zip Code, they have money for daycare and can start a college-savings fund. They both have new cars, and they’re comfortable paying their bills without worrying. That to me is success.”

“The number one concern for out-of-state employers is having access to a labor force that can meet their needs. And I think it’d be very important for employers to know that Zip Code can scale. We can train more people if there are more jobs. We train to the jobs that are available or that look they’re coming available. If employers are considering moving their headquarters here or opening a second location in Delaware and they’re worried about whether we have enough coders coming in, that won’t be a problem. We can do custom training. If they need 100 people ready to go when they open the doors, we can help them achieve that goal.”

Burton says she doesn’t see the organization opening, for example a Zip Code Buffalo or St. Louis, but the pandemic experience of offering training remotely makes it easier to support corporate partners with offices in other locations.

“It’s something we hadn’t really considered before. When we trained solely in Wilmington, in person, our reach was somewhat narrow. Now that we’ve grown from all this innovation, we can see that there’s a lot more that we can do with a broader geographical footprint without leaving Wilmington are or losing focus on our commitment to the greater Delaware region.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

CMS Helps Save the Planet One Membrane Module at a Time

Delaware’s Compact Membrane Systems Uses Clean Tech to Help Save the Planet, One Membrane Module at a Time

Delaware chemtech Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) is perfecting a solution that allows farms, landfills and water treatment plants to capture, separate, upgrade and sell their own renewable natural gas products instead of releasing them into the atmosphere.

It’s a meaningful endeavor in a time when nations, industries and individuals worldwide are becoming increasingly aware of — and committed to — the catastrophic impact of global warming and the potential for upgrading biogas to create renewable natural gas as a part of the clean energy transition.

The company’s Optiperm™ product holds the potential to create pipeline-ready gas with a simpler and less expensive process. It targets the separation of methane from carbon dioxide (CO2) with smaller systems than existing membrane solutions. A pilot demonstration of the biogas platform achieved 90% methane purity with a single-stage membrane unit. The membrane modules are now being scaled-up for commercial use.

Related solutions target carbon directly from large sources like utilities and factories. Carbon capture is all about reducing cost in renewable, sustainable and economically viable ways, and chief executive Erica Nemser says CMS is developing real-cost carbon capture through Optiperm™ carbon at $20 a ton.

“Our separation technology gives industries that cannot easily be electrified with solar power a cost-effective pathway to capture carbon without simultaneously bankrupting them, and all of us,” Nemser says. “We are excited to translate our product’s superior technical characteristics into superior economic value for our customers.”

Innovative Research Combined With Industry Know-How

Membranes are thin layers of inert polymer materials fabricated to allow small molecules like water and oxygen to pass through at high rates white retaining larger molecules like oils, additives and solvents. New technology breakthroughs by CMS enable the separation of similarly sized molecules – unleashing a pathway to reduce the energy we use in producing everyday products and reduce the harmful and planet-warming emissions associated with them.

In their Newport, Delaware, labs, CMS combines innovative research with practical industry know-how to deliver modular units with lower energy usage and smaller footprints than existing separation technologies. Their platform works with companies’ standard equipment to capture, separate and upgrade existing biogas streams that would otherwise be flared or released into the atmosphere.

Quite simply, biogas is a combination of methane and CO2 produced from the breakdown of natural materials from human and animal habitation on the globe. Most methane we currently use comes from fossil sources underground. But at the same time, landfills, water treatment plants and farms generate methane that is released into the atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect.

“We should be capturing biogas from the sources we’re generating,” Nemser says.

Methane released into the air is 85 times worse than CO2 in terms of global warming, she explains. Not only does capturing purified methane reduce the amount of CO2 that gets into the atmosphere, it can be put it into the pipeline and used for heating. This displaces the need to tap fossil sources of methane (natural gas) by using a renewable source – hence, renewable natural gas.

Based on everything that climate experts tell us about global warming, we need to keep the temperature increase on Earth no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. To address that, it’s important to use more renewables such as solar power and electric vehicles. But, Nemser adds, we must also address ways to decarbonize industry.

“Steel, cement, plastic… we need to find a way not to be contributing CO2 into the world,” she says.

Something We All Need To Do

Nemser believes increased worldwide emphasis on upgrading biogas to create renewable natural gas is a direct result of increased attention on the negative effects on global warming made all the more obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last year, it has been delightful to see the sea change in attitude towards renewable natural gas, carbon capture and discussion around climate technologies,” she says. “The focus from this being the concern only of large corporations and institutional investors has shifted to help us recognize that this is something we all need to do – not just to talk about doing, but to actively walk down the path of setting policy, putting infrastructure in place and moving technologies forward to address the challenges of our planet. Two years ago, that wasn’t the case.”

No Silver Bullet

In the debate around protecting the environment and saving the planet, Nemser cautions that there is no one silver bullet, but many solutions to get us where we need to go.

“Realistically, we can’t simply say we’ll all switch to driving electric cars and all will be fine. It will take more expansive use of solar power, investment in hydrogen and carbon capture sequestration,” she says.

Nemser credits the fabulous chemistry and chemical engineering talent found in Delaware – from world renowned experts to new graduates – for making her company’s work in energy transition possible. She also applauds Delaware’s business and scientific community for being very welcoming and collaborative, citing a pilot system for olefin separation technology recently hosted and supported at a refinery in Delaware, as well as a next-level demonstration-scale system of Optiperm™ getting underway with a neighboring world-renowned petrochemical company.

The company is now also working on a round of funding that will allow the world to hear about their innovative technical platform that focuses on energy transfer. Delaware’s juncture in the mid-Atlantic may be proving most helpful to CMS in creating pipeline-quality methane.

“It’s a really powerful thing for Delaware to be known as place that generates this kind of innovation for the world,” Nemser says.

Local Footprint, Global Impact

CMS’s target customers are major worldwide corporations that produce physical things: utilities that produce power; chemical plants that make the materials that go into cars, bedding and house paint; cement and steel factories; and even the apartment complexes that want to capture the carbon out of their heating systems.

But in the end, Nemser says, her real customer is the planet and all of the people who live on it.

“At CMS, we’re addressing a significant portion of the solution so people can continue to live meaningful, productive lives in a way that is sustainable for future generations,” she says. “We’re committed to keeping the planet as tuned up as we possibly can, and we look forward to using our local footprint to make a global impact.”

To learn more about Compact Membrane Systems and the Optiperm™ product portfolio, visit https://compactmembrane.com.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Global Women’s Health Company Hologic Expands in Delaware

Global Women’s Health Company Hologic Expands in Delaware

medical technology company for women's health

October 25, 2021 –

Medical Technology Pioneer Investing Over $20 Million to Expand Operations, Adding Over 100,000 Square Feet and 225 Jobs to Its Glasgow Business Community Location in Newark, Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. — Hologic Inc., an innovative Fortune 1000 medical technology company primarily focused on improving women’s health globally through early detection and treatment, has chosen Newark, Delaware, to expand its world-class center for its breast and skeletal health business.

Hologic’s three main areas of focus are breast and skeletal health, diagnostics and gynecologic surgery. Headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the global medical technology company has over 6,000 staff members working in over 40 countries.

Hologic’s expansion in Glasgow Business Community, involving an investment in excess of $20 million, adds over 100,000 square feet to its campus and includes plans for a cutting-edge X-ray hub. The expansion also adds 225 new jobs to the 160 people currently working at the Glasgow site. The new positions include jobs in manufacturing, product development, process and technical support, and operations supervision and management.

“These are good, new jobs that will support Delaware workers and their families,” said Governor John Carney. “I want to thank Hologic for their commitment to our state. The company’s expansion in Glasgow just reaffirms that Delaware remains a great place for companies of all sizes to put down roots, create jobs and grow.”

Hologic is investing about $4 million in new equipment and about $20 million in construction and fit-out costs. Supporting the company’s plans are grants it has been approved by the state Council on Development Finance to receive from the Delaware Strategic Fund: a Jobs Performance Grant of up to almost $1.48 million and a Capital Expenditure Grant of up to $720,000.

“This is another example showing that New Castle County is a great place where life science companies, like Hologic, can grow and expand their workforce,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “There’s no doubt we have the talent and the workforce ready to help fill the more than 200 new jobs coming to the market. I’m especially proud to recognize Hologic during Breast Cancer Awareness Month for its groundbreaking work and research on women’s health issues.”

Hologic’s Delaware presence can be traced back to DuPont, which originally developed the property at 600 Technology Drive for its own X-ray film business. Sterling Group later purchased the site from DuPont, eventually selling it to Hologic in 1999. Hologic previously invested in growing its Newark, Delaware, operations, including a $14.8 million, 9,500-square-foot addition in 2012.

As a key member of Delaware’s medical technology community, Hologic conducts extensive charitable outreach that has included donating money and time to a nonprofit that aids military veterans, providing meals to low-income students, completing home remodeling projects for cancer survivors, holding blood donation drives and hosting fundraising campaigns for a breast-cancer support group.

“Hologic has enjoyed a long history as part of the Newark community, as we drive innovations that transform the detection and treatment of breast cancer globally,” said Jennifer Meade, President of Hologic’s Breast and Skeletal Health Solutions Division. “We are excited to expand our presence and our partnership with the county and with the state of Delaware, enabling us to have an even greater impact on the lives of women around the world.”


About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting, and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

About Hologic Inc.

Hologic is a groundbreaking women’s health company whose medical devices and technologies enable early detection and treatment. For more information on Hologic, visit www.hologic.com. The Company’s Breast and Skeletal Health Solutions Division provides a comprehensive continuum of care that includes: 3D mammography, which Hologic pioneered in 2011; breast biopsy systems; ultrasound devices; innovations for breast conservation surgery; and musculoskeletal imaging.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

New Report Details Growth and Opportunity for Delaware’s Life Sciences Sector

New Report Details Robust Growth and Immense Opportunity for Delaware’s Life Sciences Sector

Bioscience Life Science in Delaware report 2021

Study shows bioscience is leading economic driver in Delaware, generating $2B in GDP annually, with 11,000 employed in diverse sector jobs and state poised for significant expansion.
A comprehensive new report on Delaware’s life sciences vividly demonstrates the sector’s strength and recent growth, with 11000 jobs in the field, an annual economic impact of $2 billion in GDP, and a 65% increase in the number of new biotechnology R&D companies formed over the last 10 years.

Produced by Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) and the Delaware BioScience Association (Delaware Bio), the study, “Life Sciences in Delaware: Momentum and Opportunity,” is the first comprehensive assessment of the breadth, depth and potential of the Delaware life sciences landscape.
The report analyzed five component subsectors capturing the full spectrum of bioscience activity in the state across private sector companies, higher education and nonprofit research institutions: Pharmaceuticals and Therapeutics; Research and Development, Testing and Medical Laboratories; Agricultural and Industrial Biosciences; Medical Devices and Equipment; and Supply and Distribution.
Key findings include:

  • Bioscience is a powerful economic driver in Delaware: The life sciences sector employs approximately 11,000 people and directly generates $2 billion in GDP (both 2.5% of total state employment and GDP) along with payrolls of at least $230 million.
  • Delaware’s bioscience landscape has transformed in recent years: The number of life sciences operations in Delaware has grown significantly in the past decade — most notably in the biotechnology R&D subindustry with an increase of 65% — and Delaware now ranks 7th nationally for life sciences venture capital funding per capita.
  • Delaware draws on a world-class talent pool in the statewide and regional labor market: Nearly 30% of all biochemists and biophysicists in the U.S. and one in six U.S. pharmaceutical employees works in Delaware’s region. The greater Philadelphia area ranks fourth in life sciences employment nationally, with Delaware employers drawing about one of five employees from across state lines.
  • Growth in federal funding has accelerated R&D activity: Since 2000, Delaware’s R&D funding from the National Institutes of Health has more than doubled, and the state is among the top three recipients per capita of funding from the NIH Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), centered at the University of Delaware, recently opened a $156 million center for R&D and biopharmaceutical workforce training and, in July, received another $153 million in federal grants.
  • Delaware is home to an increasing, wide range of degree and training programs: The number of degrees in the life sciences disciplines awarded by Delaware institutions has grown by 64% since 2010.

Recent developments underscore significant momentum and opportunity for growth areas, including advanced manufacturing: These include the announcement of a several hundred-million-dollar-investment in a new pharmaceutical development and manufacturing facility in Middletown, hundreds of millions dollars more in investment planned for a new science and innovation park at a former DuPont site, a $10 million program supporting the expansion of lab space and one of 2020’s most successful biotech IPOs by a Delaware company.

Cementing Delaware’s position as a preeminent hub for the life sciences will require clear focus and collaboration across government, higher education and industry: The state is ideally situated to accelerate sector growth with sustained, strategic investment in workforce development, infrastructure and lab space, and improved university-industry engagement and access to capital. 

“This report confirms the exciting growth, vitality and great potential of Delaware’s life sciences sector,” said Governor John Carney, co-chair of DPP. “Our state has so many unique strengths and advantages within a thriving region. Ensuring Delaware is a top-tier global hub of life sciences research and innovation is essential to both public health and our economic future, and we will continue to invest in its long-term growth.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly demonstrated the enormous importance of the work biomedical researchers devote their lives to advancing,” said Delaware Bio President Michael Fleming. “With growth across every facet of our sector – from private businesses of every size to new degree and training programs and increased R&D investment and expanding manufacturing capacity – the Delaware bioscience sector has never been stronger, and this report provides a compelling roadmap for the life sciences’ role as a central driver of the state’s success while transforming the lives of the patients it serves.”  

“We are seeing both strong organic sector growth as well as a substantial increase in external interest by life science companies considering Delaware for their home,” said Kurt Foreman, DPP president and CEO. “The findings in this report make clear why the state has increasing momentum and appeal as an ideal location for life sciences companies to invest and grow.”

The complete report is available at choosedelaware.com/bioreport or by clicking here.


About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

About the Delaware BioScience Association

Since 2006, the Delaware BioScience Association has been a catalyst for bioscience innovation in Delaware. Delaware Bio serves pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, medical device manufacturers, agricultural biotech and chemical companies, research and testing companies, hospitals and medical institutions, academic partners and other organizations and related service companies, with the goal of expanding our state’s vibrant science economy.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Delaware Space Grant Consortium Launches Students into Innovation

Delaware Space Grant Consortium Launches Students into Innovation

delaware space grant program Dr. Muldrew

NASA is looking for more than a few good scientists, and Delaware is producing an abundance of them through NASA’s Space Grant program.

According to Dr. Milton Muldrow, chair of Science, Biology, and Environmental Science & Policy at Wilmington University and an associate director of the Delaware Space Grant Consortium, NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project provides education and research resources for college-level students who have a potential future with the federal aeronautics and space agency.

NASA created the Space Grant program in 1989. Its national network includes more than 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies. These affiliates belong to one of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Creating a Tech-Savvy Workforce for the Future

Through the Consortium, Delaware aims to contribute to the technologically literate workforce that NASA and other STEM entities will need in the years ahead.

“The project’s mission is to produce the workforce of the future for NASA,” Muldrow said. “They do this through research engagement for college students, internships and fellowship programs.”

The objectives of Space Grant are to encourage cooperative programs among universities, the aerospace industry, and federal, state and local governments, as well as interdisciplinary education, research, and public service programs related to aerospace. Space Grant also aims to promote a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics pipeline through higher education experiences. Muldrow’s introduction to the project came six years ago, when he became chair of Wilmington University’s science programs.

“After we developed science programs at Wilmington University, we immediately tried to align with Space Grant,” he said. “We wanted to offer more opportunities to our students.”

Since then, he added, several students have gotten involved and succeeded.

“My first student to receive a grant through the program created hundreds of maps of coral communities off the Florida Keys based off publicly available data,” Muldrow said. “She did amazing work.”

Interested students work with Muldrow, who submits a proposal to Space Grant based on his research goals. Students who participate in the program come away with tangible deliverables to offer potential employers in their chosen field, along with a notable affiliation.

“The name of the game, coming out of college, is no longer about just a degree,” Muldrow said. “Employers really want to see what you have done. And seeing that a potential employee has participated in a NASA project is a big deal for employers.”

The Space Grant program gives Delaware colleges and universities another means of producing valuable contributors to today’s innovation society.

“When our students get jobs at big labs and institutions, it shows the world the kind of talent we have in Delaware,” Muldrow said. “I’m just blown away every semester, not just by how intelligent the students are, but also how motivated they are.”

When students are accepted into the Space Grant program, they don’t just work on their projects. They also learn how to conduct themselves as scientists and comprehend the importance of being competitive. 

“The students learn skills such as working hard and going above and beyond because, at the end of the day, they’re competing with people globally for jobs,” Muldrow said. “Having that NASA banner next to your name is impressive, and our students go on to do great things.”

The Space Grant program also spotlights the work Delaware has contributed to the world of science and technology. Besides Wilmington University, the Delaware Space Grant Consortium includes the University of Delaware, Delaware Technical Community College, and Delaware State University. In Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College and Villanova University are participants. 

“It highlights the work that’s already being done in Delaware – work that people may not know,” Muldrow said. “Our director, Dr. William Matthaeus, is world-renowned. He helps develop satellites, including the Parker Solar Probe that launched to the sun.”

Through Space Grant, a group of Wilmington University students recently saw their work launched into space.

“The students helped to build a payload that takes various measurements while in space,” Muldrow explained. “This one went off into space from Wallops Island, Virginia, this spring. That is a national project, and to be represented on the national stage is putting Delaware innovation on the map.”

The student who produced maps of the ocean floor while still enrolled at Wilmington University was offered jobs in her field before receiving her diploma.

“She has moved up quickly,” Muldrow said. “She now works for DNREC – the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – doing exactly what she did for us: she is a GIS specialist creating maps.”

Another recent graduate entered the Space Grant program with the primary goal of working in a lab. She procured a job at Merck, a pharmaceutical company, using Space Grant as her primary experience when she graduated. And she’s already been promoted.

An additional Wilmington University alum went on to the environmental engineering program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which partners with NASA. 

“We have students participating in projects such as GIS mapping, policy research, biological research, and genetic engineering,” Muldrow said. “Our students have gone on to do some amazing things thanks to NASA’s Space Grant Project.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

The Innovation Space™ Expands Lab and Office Space for Startups

The Innovation Space™ Expands Lab and Office Space Available to Startups

The Innovation Space expands in Delaware

September 17, 2021 – 

50,000 Sq.ft.  Of Laboratory and Office Space Available April 2022

WILMINGTON, Del. – The Innovation Space™, an ecosystem with funding, resources, and programs tailored to accelerate and scale science-based startups, announced today that 50,000 ft2 of Class A laboratory and office space will be available in April 2022. This space, located in The Innovation Space’s Wilmington, Delaware headquarter building is comprised of 33 laboratories, 76 offices, and a network of shared conference rooms, collaboration spaces and amenities. Residential clients also gain access to the Experimental Station, a secure, 24/7 supported, innovation campus with a cafeteria, fitness center, exercise classes, and critical infrastructure support resources.

The lab and office footprint aims to enable biotechnology, chemistry, and material science startups as they grow and attain key milestones for expanded facilities. The space available in April 2022 is currently occupied by a large biotechnology client and supports both the advancement of their research and development of their business. Upon this client’s graduation from The Innovation Space in early 2022, the space will be made available to the next generation of startups and scaling companies.

“We are very pleased to be able to intensify our commitment to the growth of science-based startup companies and drive economic growth,” said Bill Provine, CEO of The Innovation Space. “This space would be a perfect fit for biotech or chemistry-based companies and can support multiple smaller growth companies or be a great home for a rapidly scaling larger company.”

“The Innovation Space has been a critical partner for Prelude Therapeutics in support of our rapid growth,” said Kris Vaddi, CEO of Prelude Therapeutics. “We continue to gain value from their entrepreneur-first business focus and flexible engagement strategies which have provided us with the framework to expand our company with them from 5 employees in 2017 to over 100 employees today,” said Vaddi.

“Whether you are just starting out your journey as a science entrepreneur or are have recently raised a multi-million-dollar round of investment, you will find supportive programs and capabilities across The Innovation Space that will enable you to move your startup forward more aggressively,” said Provine. “We are an entrepreneur-first organization and have both physical assets such as leveraged scientific equipment and world-class laboratory capabilities in addition to our supportive suite of business building programs. These programs include our First Fund™ where we provide investment, our Science INC™ cohort-based accelerator where we work intensely over a four month program with early startups on their business models and connect them with partners and investors, and our Spark Factory™ mentoring program where we provide access to and advice from seasoned functional experts and business leaders.”

About The Innovation Space™:

The Innovation Space is a multi-dimensional, non-profit entrepreneurial support organization and an ecosystem where entrepreneurs, scientists, business leaders, community members, investors, and service providers in the advanced materials, industrial and agriculture biotechnology, chemical ingredients, renewable energy, nutrition, therapeutics, diagnostics, and healthcare fields can build business concepts together and accelerate the path to commercialization of each startup. The Innovation Space was formed from a public-private partnership between the State of Delaware, DuPont, and the University of Delaware. The Innovation Space™ is also known as Delaware Innovation Space™ and the Home for Science Entrepreneurs™.

Learn more: innovationspace.org; https://bit.ly/TheInnovationSpace; and www.firstfund.org.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Innovation and Growth Ahead in Delaware’s Chemical Industry

Option: 1

Innovation and Growth Ahead in Delaware’s Chemical Industry

chemical industry innovation in Delaware

Delaware continues to provide a productive environment for major companies throughout the world in agriculture, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and the chemical industries. Known as the chemical capital of the world, Delaware has a commanding presence in the $4 trillion global chemical industry. It is the research and administrative center for some of the largest chemical companies in the world and provides one of the richest research environments for chemical innovation. 

Through innovation, a very talented workforce, and sustainable chemistry practices, the future of the rapidly evolving chemical industry in the First State is bright.


Delaware is home to some of the world’s most transformative innovations. A global leader in science, tech, manufacturing, and agriculture, the First State supports innovative enterprises with incentives, financing options, research and development (R&D), and business development support. Many companies today are embracing joint development programs, strategic partnerships, and even increasing merger and acquisition (M&A) activity to support a more innovative culture.

The chemical industry is no exception to this trend. The leaders and trailblazers in this industry are innovating through collaboration with customers, other companies, and academic institutions.

Talented Workforce

Delaware is known for its diverse, educated, and talented workforce. Delaware has seen an expansion in its workforce by 10% during the past decade, nearly twice the U.S. average and is within easy access to more than 100 research-based universities, colleges and medical schools.

Various programs are developed to ensure the talent that walks out of these educational institutions are appropriately employed. They train the workforce and match the right talent to the right company.

Sustainable Chemistry 

Sustainable chemistry involves finding lasting solutions to various issues like environmental protection, global healthcare, and food and water safety. Uniquely positioned as a commercial center and hub for comprehensive chemistry research, Delaware has seen a steady increase in the focus on sustainable chemistry. The industry continues to grow and rely on innovations. Incredible talent comes out of the world-class research universities that have a particular focus on chemistry and chemical engineering. The University of Delaware has a top 10 ranked Chemical Engineering program and multiple research institutes directly related to sustainable chemistry, such as the Center for Composite Materials, the Energy Institute, the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, and the Delaware Environmental Institute. Sustainable chemistry companies find a concentration of talent in Delaware with the highest concentration of chemical engineers and chemists in the United States – more than three times the national average.

The innovation ecosystem in Delaware forms the basis of the continued growth of all the key industries in Delaware, including the chemical industry. The industry is shifting to high-tech innovation to commercialize higher-value products and services with shorter turnaround times and reduces risk.  Delaware looks forward to a ‘ChemTech’ future that is driven by innovation, nurtured by sustainable chemistry, and strengthened by a diverse and talented resource pool.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

No State Builds Pathways from High School to Jobs as well as Delaware Does: Opinion

Option: 1

No State Builds Pathways from High School to Jobs as well as Delaware Does: Opinion

7 NOVEMBER, 2019

How can it be that with the lowest unemployment rate in anyone’s memory, the U.S. still has 6.9 jobs seeking workers and 6.3 workers seeking jobs?

There is no single answer, but a big part of the problem is the skills gap – not enough workers with the right skills, especially to fill middle-skill jobs in such fields as health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing.

Many states are building pipeline programs to address this gap, programs that begin in high school, connect to post secondary institutions, and work with employers to ensure that students have the right skills to fill in-demand jobs that can get them launched on fulfilling careers.

No state does this as well as Delaware.

Over these past six years, Delaware has, from a standing start, created a statewide career pathways system that has become a model for the nation. Delaware has grown from 27 students enrolled in an advanced manufacturing program in 2014 to 16,000 students across the state currently enrolled in 25 career pathways in 12 high-growth, high-demand sectors of the state’s economy.

The state is on track to meet its goal of enrolling 20,000 students — half the high school population — in career pathways by 2020.

Delaware’s story is the lead chapter in a new book just published by Harvard Education Press, “Career Pathways in Action: Case Studies from the Field,” written by Nancy Hoffman and myself. This book, and the case study of Delaware Pathways, will be featured in a session at the upcoming annual Vision Coalition Conference Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the University of Delaware.

In a few short years, Delaware Pathways has transformed the education landscape. Career pathways match students’ interests with tailored instruction and relevant work-based learning experiences, and award industry-recognized credentials and college credits while students are still in high school.

These pathways provide on and off ramps for the full spectrum of options. A young person on a health care pathway could use it to decide: a) to become a certified nursing assistant so she can start earning some money while she weighs her options; b) to start working toward becoming a medical doctor; or c) that it isn’t the right field.

The goal is to give program participants enough early exposure to the world of work and careers to make informed decisions about what comes next after high school.

How has Delaware been able to build such a robust career pathways system in such a short time? The secret is partnership.

The collaboration among statewide entities like the departments of Education and Labor, Delaware Technical Community College, the United Way, Rodel and a network of private employers large and small led to the development of a compelling strategic plan specifying the roles and responsibilities of each partner.

This cross-agency structure is unusually strong, and a dedicated core team from the partner organizations has stuck together to implement that plan.

Delaware Pathways is not without its challenges, including the provision of meaningful work-based learning opportunities for all participants and the development of a long-range funding plan.

But with Gov. John Carney leading the effort to bring more employers to the table, the first challenge is being addressed, and given the broad-based political support for the program, I’m confident the funding challenge will be addressed as well.

Delaware, you are currently building what many believe is the most scalable and replicable career pathways model in the nation.

Keep pushing.

The leaders of the other 15 state and regional members of the Pathways Network are all pulling for you because what you build here could not only help your young people, but benefit their peers in states across the United States.

— Robert Schwartz is a professor emeritus of practice in educational policy and administration at Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-founder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

Kurt Foreman


Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware