Delaware: Small But Mighty

Delaware may BE smaller than most U.S. states but what it lacks in size, it makes up in its many strengths.

By BF Editors

Encompassing less than 2,000 square miles, Delaware is officially the second smallest state (by area) in the U.S. One of the original 13 colonies and the first state to ratify the U.S. constitution, The Blue Hen State is strategically located along the East Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region.

It’s hard to believe that for such a small state Delaware has more shoreline than the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam combined. But it is its beautiful beaches and family-friendly attractions that help draw millions of visitors each year.

Some 66% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware. With a population of well under one million, an impressive 41% of residents are college educated. It’s easy to see why companies such as Dupont have long called it home. Most of the state’s economy relies on manufacturing, including pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and plastics, as well as agriculture, fisheries and tourism. The state’s largest economic driver—finance and insurance—draws top companies with its pro-business model, including low tax incentives and favorable laws for corporations.

(Photo: Choose Delaware)

Kent County, Central Delaware

There are many reasons why central Delaware has become the new home to eight manufacturing and logistics companies over the past two years. Low land costs and low taxes are enabling companies to put that extra money back into their businesses. In addition, central Delaware has shovel ready sites for all size operations. Top notch school systems, four colleges and universities, technical schools and specialized training programs make central Delaware optimum, easy, and convenient. Not to mention the state’s reputation for an outstanding business climate. With a significantly lower cost of living than some other East Coast states, it’s frequently ranked one of the best states to live in.

Here, central Delaware residents enjoy opportunities and a low tax burden without state-level property taxes and sales tax. “The area’s proximity to award winning beaches and cultural attractions gives Central Delaware a unique quality of life for those who work and live here,” said Linda Parkowski, Executive Director, Kent Economic Partnership. “Central Delaware offers activities that will delight every member of the family, from a day at the beach to wine tasting and watching the sunset. Come discover all the treasures Delaware has to offer.”

Central Delaware is located less than two hours away from Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and New York City making it the prime location to locate and expand your business. The region is ideally suited for companies in the distribution, warehousing and logistics, health care, business services, and beverage manufacturing sectors. Home to more than 75 manufacturers with a highly trained workforce, central Delaware is the perfect location for your business.

The Dover Air Force Base—known for its cargo handling and a specially trained workforce—is an excellent source for any business’ logistics needs.

Delaware ranks number three in the U.S. for overall corporate tax favorability and number six for distribution facilities. In Delaware, the cost of doing business is 25% below the U.S. average. This makes central Delaware a prime location for businesses to locate and expand.

Job-Focused Curriculum Gets Delawareans To Work

From middle school years to post-secondary education and career credentialing, Delaware’s education curriculum is more career-focused than ever—helping to create a better-prepared workforce and stronger economy.

According to Luke Rhine, Associate Secretary of Workforce Support with the Delaware Department of Education, college and career-ready programming in middle grades, along with a high school curriculum centered on the state’s Delaware Pathways strategy, prepare tomorrow’s workers to prepare for fulfilling careers. Students get a chance to determine what kind of post-secondary path is right for them, in terms of the type of career to pursue and whether a two-or four-year degree or credential program.

“Young people are translating their skills into data science,” said Rhine, who is amazed by what students are doing with their ability to code or automate or use drones to collect data for agriculture or construction. “They’re asking themselves what they want to become and what steps they need to take to get there.”

(Photo: Choose Delaware)

Today, more than 70% of Delaware high school students are enrolled in one of the state’s 12 career pathways, ranging from agriscience to STEM fields. The state is also seeing a greater than 50% rise in the number of students who demonstrate college and career-readiness by completing advanced placement college coursework or choose to “upskill” through paid youth apprenticeship programs.

Rhine said, “Their experiences help to shape who they are and accelerate their trajectory and network. It’s a great way we can help to meet the future needs of Delaware employers at scale and across the state.”

Delaware’s strategy to prepare the workforce of tomorrow doesn’t stop with high school graduation. The adult career pathway includes post-secondary education, support of the state’s Registered Apprenticeship system, and increased focus around pursuing higher-level credentials to move as quickly as possible through higher education toward gainful employment.

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