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Manufacturing Groups, Private Sector Tapped to Advance Delaware Workforce

February 05, 2014

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell outlined a FY15 budget proposal with further detail and funding levels for TBED priorities announced in his recent State of the State address. The budget would provide $1 million to create a faster path to degree or certificate completion in advanced manufacturing and establishes a $3 million cyber workforce initiative. Higher education institutions would be tapped as partners for the new initiatives, and also would receive an additional $2 million for federal R&D matching grants as part of the budget recommendations.

Much of the governor’s address focused on the urgency to match skilled workers with industry needs. To do so, he plans to roll out a program in the fall geared toward providing juniors and seniors in high school with real-world manufacturing experience that leads to job-ready certifications – specifically in mechanical, electrical and computer engineering fields. Partners in the effort include the Delaware Manufacturing Association and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, who will help indentify industries that offer hands-on training. The governor’s budget provides $1 million for the effort within the Department of Labor.

A new, statewide cyber initiative in partnership with higher education and the private sector also was proposed as a way for the state to develop skilled workers and invest in cutting-edge research. The capital budget includes $3 million for startup costs and to assist in the planning and design of the initiative on the University of Delaware Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) campus.

Another $2 million is recommended for the federal research and development matching grant program made available through the Vice Provost’s Office at the University of Delaware. Ongoing funding is proposed for several research-related initiatives under the Delaware Strategic Fund. This includes $1 million for the first year of a five-year commitment to support IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence; $1 million for the second year of a five-year commitment to support Delaware Clinical and Translational Research; $1 million for the fourth year of a six-year commitment for Fraunhofer Vaccine Development; and $800,000 for the second year of a five-year commitment to support the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Infrastructure Investment.  

Delawarestate budget, manufacturing, workforce, higher ed, cybersecurity, state tbed