State chamber names Superstars in Education & Training

Ceremony set May 8
March 12, 2023

There is no question that a healthy economy requires a strong workforce. A skilled and educated workforce draws businesses to Delaware, and encourages existing businesses to stay and expand in the state.

Whether college-bound or preparing for a technical or trade job, individuals need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful. Through the Superstars in Education and Training awards program, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, The Partnership Inc., seek to celebrate innovative programs that contribute to developing the state’s workforce of today and tomorrow.

Since 1989, the awards program has been recognizing educational programs for innovative and impactful programming. The 2023 Superstars in Education and Training award winners, all of which exemplify creativity and efficacy in workforce development initiatives, were recently announced and will be recognized Monday, May 8, during a reception and awards ceremony at Wilmington University’s Doberstein Admissions Center Auditorium in New Castle.

While many go through the rigorous application process, only a handful of winners are selected each year. An award is given to one independent training and certificate provider, a higher education program and a Delaware high school. Awards of Excellence are also granted to deserving companies.

Superstar award recipients are Jobs for Delaware Graduates, Delaware Technical Community College and Odyssey Charter School.

Jobs for Delaware Graduates Inc. is a school-to-work transitional program dedicated to helping youth reach academic and economic success. The program exposes middle and high school students to emerging careers, and higher levels of education and training. Students who participate in JDG receive weekly in-class instruction, credit toward graduation, leadership development, community service, career coaching and access to internships, job shadowing and paid work experiences. The JDG model has been replicated in 39 states, leaving a footprint across 1,500 communities nationwide. The national affiliate, Jobs for America’s Graduates, is a state-based organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among at-risk students.

The Patient Care Assistant Pathway Program at Delaware Technical Community College is a 600-hour, two-year, comprehensive program conducted in partnership with school districts across the state. This certificate-to-associate degree training program consists of classroom instruction, lab practicum, and supervised activities in clinics, long-term care facilities and other healthcare agencies. Students become certified nursing assistants within the first six months of the program, then earn a phlebotomy credential mid-program and a patient care technician credential by the end of year two. Upon program completion, students are also eligible to earn up to 11 college credits toward a degree program at Delaware Tech.

The Food Studies Career and Technical Pathway at Odyssey High School in Wilmington is unique in Delaware. The pathway’s goals are for participants to see food as a reflection of society’s values and priorities; to understand the importance of food as a foundation for individual, community, and environmental well-being; and to see food as an avenue for empowerment, citizenship and social justice. The feature experience for the students is working in the hydroponic learning lab where they are introduced to cutting-edge technology through sustainable urban farming. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Odyssey has donated more than 7,000 pounds of fresh produce and distributed more than 6,000 meal kits for people in need.

Award of Excellence recipients are Delaware Skills Center, an independent training and certificate provider, and Early College School at Delaware State University.

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