Written on: August 31st, 2012 in Recognizing State Employees
This week, we mark the unofficial end of summer – Labor Day weekend – with most people wondering where the summertime went. And, weather pending, it’s a chance for barbecue, baseball, road trips and other activities with friends and family. I hope this message finds you enjoying times with your loved ones or, at the very least, taking a break from your traditional “work.”
It’s important to remember, though, that the Labor Day holiday originally began with the labor movement in the late 1800’s. It honors the men and women who helped build and continue to build our great nation through hard work and diligence. It reminds us of our country’s core values – the hard work it takes to get ahead, the perseverance to do so and the responsibility that comes with economic gains. Every day, men and women continue to build and grow our great nation by the contributions they make at work.
So while you’re focused on spending quality time with loved ones this Labor Day weekend, know we’re doing everything we can at the state level to keep people working and create new opportunities in this changing world.
Over the past few months, I’ve signed several pieces of legislation focused on ensuring Delawareans have the support they need to find gainful employment, including the Veterans’ Opportunity Tax Credit and the Employment First Act.
As students begin heading back to school, we’re working hard to ensure their education prepares them to compete for jobs in an ever-changing global economy. Efforts like our World Language Immersion Program and the Early Learning Challenge Grant ensure even our youngest students are engaged and challenged.
As Governor, I have been fortunate to meet with the leaders of hundreds of companies and ask them how we, as a State, can facilitate their success. They all give similar answers: they want a talented workforce, good schools and engaging community activities for their employees.
In addressing their needs, I believe we’ve made great progress but our work isn’t done. Like the men and women who originated the labor movement over 100 years ago, we must remain diligent and continue working hard in order to keep Delaware moving forward.
Written on: August 31st, 2012 in Effective & Efficient Government
Labor Day weekend is upon us – the unofficial end to summer. This is a great time to look forward and I’m excited by some great opportunities for Delaware. Here are just a few.
This school year, Delaware’s first group of young students will begin learning in Spanish and in Chinese, as kindergartners and first-graders become part of our inaugural World Language Immersion Program. We have teachers from China and Spain working at several Delaware schools to get the program underway. As I mentioned in my State of the State earlier this year, this program is a critical part of preparation for the future. We know when these students grow up, they will be competing for jobs in the global marketplace and when employers choose where to locate jobs, they will look at where employees have the skills to communicate across markets. That will mean fluency in not one, but two or three languages. And so, we begin four World Language Immersion programs this year, involving more than 340 Delaware students. As we add programs, we estimate we will reach more than ten thousand students over the next ten years.
A strong educational program is one of the key things employers look for when deciding where to build and grow their business. Another is quality of life and we’ve been working hard to make community enhancements that not only benefit our neighbors and friends, but also serve to attract new business to Delaware. As part of our Trails and Pathways initiative launched last year, we recently celebrated the grand opening of the first phase of the new Auburn Heights Trail. We also broke ground on a runway extension at the Sussex County Airport, which will help Southern Delaware land more aircraft, and more job opportunities, for the local economy.
At a time of year when elections are very much on voters’ minds, we have made great progress in giving voters greater and more timely information. I recently signed three bills that make significant improvements to Delaware’s campaign finance and lobbying laws. One bill, the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act, is the most significant reform of our state’s campaign finance laws in more than two decades. Voters know they deserve to know more and we are making sure they will.
We also took a significant step forward recently in our efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and diversion, with the official launch of the Delaware Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in Delaware and the nation. The PMP is a system that collects information on all controlled substance prescriptions from Delaware-licensed pharmacies and prescribers who dispense controlled substances. It will reduce misuse of controlled substances and promote improved professional practice and patient care. Most importantly – it will help save lives.