After taking office during one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, Governor Markell has made job creation his top priority. In January 2009, when Governor Markell took office, the number of Delawareans out of work was more than doubling, some of the state’s largest employers were closing their doors and leaving the state, and the economic outlook was bleak.
Turning around Delaware’s economy in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis, one that hit Delaware’s core financial services and manufacturing sectors particularly hard, has not been easy. Since Governor Markell’s first budget in July 2009, Delaware’s economy has been leading the country’s comeback – adding more than 3,500 jobs, attracting numerous companies to relocate to Delaware, and helping existing small and large businesses grow and expand.
Facilities shuttered after the financial crisis have been given new life – in just the last three years, the Delaware City refinery is back up and running, Bloom Energy is set to bring manufacturing back to the site of the old Chrysler plant, and companies like Amazon, Baltimore Aircoil, Barclays, Calpine, Capital One, Citigroup, Craig Industries, ILC Dover, Johnson Controls, JP Morgan, Miller Metal, Mountaire Farms, PTM Manufacturing, Sallie Mae, and Testing Machines, Inc. have relocated to Delaware or expanded their Delaware operations, creating new Delaware jobs.
"It was a sad time here when Valero pulled out. The Governor came in and rolled up his sleeves. He knew how the closing would impact jobs and the other businesses in the community that support the refinery. Governor Markell had a vision. He saw what had to be done. I don't think this plant would be open today if it wasn't for the Governor's involvement."
- Jon Weldon, process controls engineer with the Delaware City Refinery.
As part of his efforts to rebuild and grow a stable and prosperous economy for the future, Governor Markell has pursued a multi-pronged approach to put Delawareans back to work that includes:
- Meeting with business leaders to tell the Delaware story, detail the benefits of doing business in Delaware, and recruit new employers to the state;
- Providing small businesses access to credit to grow and create jobs;
- Creating tax incentives for Delaware businesses to hire Delawareans;
- Deploying Rapid Response Teams and the state’s “Job Squad” to assist workers affected by large-scale plant closings and connect them to employers hiring;
- Expanding the research and job training facilities at Delaware’s three major institutions of higher learning;
- Providing grants to help unemployed workers acquire new skills or upgrade their current skills;
- Ensuring employers find the highly-educated workforce they are looking for in Delaware;
- Preserving Delaware’s pristine natural resources so that the quality of life the First State offers is second to none.