The Delaware Economic Development Working Group submitted its report to Gov. John Carney on April 7, recommending a plan to implement a public-private partnership — the Delaware Prosperity Partnership — that would restructure Delaware’s economic development efforts.
The nonprofit partnership, as recommended by the working group, would leverage private resources to enhance business recruitment, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, support workforce development and provide market analysis on Delaware’s economy.
On Jan. 18, his first full day in office, Carney signed an executive order, creating the working group to recommend a plan for implementing a public-private partnership to improve Delaware’s system of economic development.
Carney is reviewing the working group’s recommendations.
“Delaware’s economy continues to undergo substantial change, and we should do everything we can to ensure Delaware is competing for the good-paying jobs of the future, preparing our workforce for those jobs, supporting our entrepreneurs and promoting innovation,” Carney said. “It makes sense to ask the business sector to partner in those efforts. Thank you to the members of the working group for their attention to this important issue. I am committed to working with the General Assembly as we explore a path forward.”
A new partnership, as recommended by the working group, would be designed as a forward-looking entity to anticipate economic trends — with success of the initiative defined by a set of metrics to include new job creation, higher wages, expanding Delaware's high-quality talent base, growing Delaware’s tax base and new business formation.
The working group’s plan does not call for a full replacement of the Delaware Economic Development Office. Under the group’s recommendations, DEDO would remain responsible for administering the Delaware Strategic Fund, Delaware’s Tourism office, business development initiatives and various additional functions.
The Delaware Prosperity Partnership would be led by a CEO and governed by a 15-member board with members from the public and private sectors. The report anticipates an annual budget of $2.5 million — with the private sector funding a target of 40 to 60 percent of the nonprofit’s operational costs.