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Governor's Blog


Delaware Governor: Jack Markell


            

  Archived Posts From: 2010

Continuing our Race to the Top

Written on: March 30th, 2010 in Education

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I would like to bring you up to date on some of the things the state is doing and how we are trying to make your family and work life in Delaware a little bit better.

Our focus is on creating more and better jobs and building a stronger economy for us all.  We can do that together if we encourage economic growth, demand a more efficient government and provide our children a world-class education so they can work in first class jobs.

We received some welcome news from the federal government recently that will help us improve our schools so that Delaware children can successfully complete for the best jobs in an increasingly competitive global economy.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Delaware achieved the highest score in the nation during the first phase of the rigorous “Race to the Top” competition. Delaware will receive about $100M over the next four years–we are one of only two states that will receive money grants in this phase.

One important reason for that is that teachers, the business community, school administrators, parents, school boards, legislators, charter schools, and our congressional delegation all came together with a singular focus on what we need to do to improve our schools.  In short, it was about the kids, not the adults.

What’s really important is where we go from here.

This is not about the money – it is about improving education for our kids – real changes that effect students’ lives and chances for success.   This is about putting children first and making sure they have every opportunity to reach their potential.

There are four key elements of the program:

  1. Higher standards, so our children can successful compete for jobs in an increasingly global economy.
  2. Stronger assessments – making sure that teachers and parents really understand what is happening in the classroom and measuring student progress.
  3. High-quality teachers in the classroom and principals in schools
  4. Turning around under-performing schools

If you want to know more about our plan, our full application is posted here.

In the meantime, we look forward to working with you as parents, teachers, educators, business leaders and others as, together, we move Delaware children forward.


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Prescription Drug Abuse

Written on: March 30th, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

Last week, I announced a proposal for a new electronic prescription monitoring program (PMP), together with Senators Brian Bushweller, Bethany Hall-Long, and Michael Katz and Representatives Larry Mitchell and Melanie George.  I would also like to thank David Parcher, Director of Kent-Sussex Counseling Services, and Dr. Rafael Zaragoza from the Medical Society of Delaware for their participation.

The abuse of prescription medication is on the rise from an already alarming level. When misused, prescription drugs can be just as harmful—and as potentially lethal—as illegal substances.  To learn more about our proposal, please click here.

While developing this bill, the input that we received from doctors and drug abuse treatment professionals made it clear that prescription monitoring will be an invaluable, lifesaving tool.

However, prescription drug abuse—like other forms of drug addiction—will not be solved easily. I urge you to learn more about the problem and help lead our youth towards a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on prescription drug abuse:

If you or someone you care about needs help with addiction:


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Our Veterans and Our Future

Written on: March 27th, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

Thursday was one of those days that remind me just how great it is to be a Delawarean.

Medal of Honor Recognition Ceremony

In the morning, I visited VFW Post #3792 in Middletown for the 10th Annual Medal of Honor Recognition Day.  This is the second time I’ve had the privilege of attending this ceremony, which is a moving reflecton on what our fellow Delawareans have sacrificed for our country.  I was truly humbled to be in the presence of our veterans as we remembered our Medal of Honor Recipients.

While I was on my way out,  I paused for a photo with a young girl.  I bent down to talk to her, and the five-year-old child recited the Pledge of Allegiance for me.  Of course it was adorable, but it was also an incredibly powerful embodiment of the future for which our veterans fought.

In the afternoon, I attended the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Dover Capital City Rotary Club.  At the event, the Dover High Select Ensemble delivered a stirring performance of our National Anthem.  The video below does not come close to doing them justice, but I thought you might enjoy it nonetheless.

On my way back to the office, I met students from the Red Lion Christian Academy on the steps of Legislative Hall.  They were visiting Dover for a civics class, learning about public service and how they can get involved to make Delaware a better place.

I’m proud of our past and inspired by our future.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Governor, and I hope you enjoy all that Delaware has to offer this weekend.

A few additional photos available here.


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Alan Levin: Manufacturing Week

Written on: March 25th, 2010 in Guest Posts

Levin_Alan_2x2_72dpiIt’s an honor to be invited to guest post on Governor Markell’s blog. Yesterday, as the Governor spoke at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Brunch and Manufacturing Conference, he proclaimed this week Manufacturing Week in Delaware.

The manufacturing industry is key to Delaware’s economic recovery. Manufacturing makes up a significant portion of Delaware’s workforce, employing approximately 27,000 Delawareans.

At the Delaware Economic Development Office, we realize that we need to do everything we can to ensure the success of our businesses. We continue to work hard every day to make Delaware more attractive to businesses and more conducive to job creation.

Advanced Aerosol CEO RJ Valentine chose to invest here rather than his home state "Delaware gets it."

As DEDO meets with businesses across the state, we recognize that the future of manufacturing in Delaware looks bright. We understand the importance of assisting the industry in order to strengthen our economy. As a result the state continues to assist businesses like Advanced Aerosol, Baltimore Aircoil, PTM Manufacturing and many others expand.

Advanced Aerosol resumed operations at its plant in Seaford. They will create 53 full-time jobs, providing an estimated economic impact of $21.3 million to the state of Delaware.  At the event, CEO RJ Valentine said he chose to invest here, rather than his home state of Massachusetts because when it comes to business, “Delaware gets it.”

Baltimore Aircoil Company, a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of heat transfer and ice thermal storage products, is expanding its manufacturing operations in Milford. The company was awarded a performance-based grant which will create 83 new manufacturing jobs in Delaware over two years. 

Baltimore Aircoil is expanding its facility, creating 83 new jobs

PTM  Manufacturing was awarded a Delaware Strategic Fund loan enabling it to expand its line of cost-effective green energy ducting and insulation system products nationwide.  The state’s investment is expected to help PTM create 23 new jobs in its first year and up to a total of 67 jobs within three years.

In addition, as the door closed on GM’s Boxwood plant last June, another door opened. Fisker Automotive’s plans to build their plug-in hybrid sedan at the plant will create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs. Bernard Koehler confirmed Fisker’s commitment to working with local suppliers in his keynote address at Wednesday’s Legislative Brunch.

We have worked hard to not only assist Delaware’s manufacturing industry, but all businesses in Delaware and DEDO will continue to do so. It is our goal to make Delaware the State of Business today.

If you have any questions regarding how DEDO can help your businesses, please contact us at 302-739-4271.


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Social Media: Growing our Economy through a Stronger Community

Written on: March 24th, 2010 in Job Creation

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a few social media thought leaders, including Chris Brogan.  Chris graciously spent time meeting with many of our online innovators to discuss how we can make Delaware the “First State of Social Media.”  The feedback I’ve heard so far—and read through Twitter—has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

People have asked me: “Why do you have a Facebook page?” and “Why are you on Twitter?”

Here are three reasons why I am exploring and engaging through social media:

  1. Delaware is the State of Neighbors, and social media is another channel through which we can strengthen our community. Our people—whether they’re from business, nonprofits, government, academic institutions or other groups—know how to work together.  We get the right people in the room, and we move fast. Companies like Fisker have told me that this is one of the reasons they chose to grow their business in Delaware.
  2. Delawareans are helping each other promote our small businesses and nonprofits through social media within our state and beyond. When people find a great service, activity or product, they spread the word to help our businesses thrive and create jobs.  Social media knows few boundaries, and we need to make sure that people know what’s so special about our state.
  3. We need your creative ideas to ensure that Delaware is the best place to start and grow a business. Your dialogue can lead to innovation and economic development.  Your suggestions will make government more efficient, effective, and responsive.   

There are so many amazing things happening in our state, and we need to get the word out. Join the grassroots discussion through Twitter, using #NetDE, or at this Facebook page.

I hope you enjoy the video below – courtesy of The Delaware Film Company – showing part of my conversation with Chris Brogan.

 



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