The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce held a virtual conference July 21 to allow business and government leaders to discuss plans to get Delawareans back to work.
Gov. John Carney was a keynote speaker at the conference. He stressed the importance of having both a healthy community and a healthy economy, saying there cannot be one without the other.
Carney said the new Amazon warehouse that moved into the General Motors plant in Wilmington could create thousands of jobs and an opportunity for construction. Science-based and IT companies can provide leadership for the economy during this time as well, said Carney.
Delaware State Chamber of Commerce President Michael Quaranta agreed that IT skills are especially important right now. Quaranta said there need to be IT people to service devices and work at hospitals. IT skills are also important for education and remote learning/working, he said.
Sen. David McBride said the Delaware General Assembly will be having a number of conversations this fall and winter about getting Delawareans back to work. This includes speeding up expansion of broadband access to Delaware’s underserved communities, bolstering training opportunities to the unemployed and underemployed workforce, and better marketing the first state to employers, he said.
McBride, D-Wilmington Manor, said he expects to see a record number of bills filed in January 2021, more than any other time in the history of the General Assembly. He said the only way to get through the pandemic is to work together, and there’s no state better suited for that than Delaware.
“We’re small, we’re strong and we’re powerful,” McBride said.
Ron Painter, president and CEO of the National Association of Workforce Boards, said companies that might have been thinking about office expansions, may now be thinking, “How do I increase my IT infrastructure, so that people who are working remotely can continue to work remotely?’”
He also said retraining is going to be key to workforce development. This not only includes the emerging workforce, but the millions who are already in the labor force, he said.
For more information, visit www.dscc.com or find the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.