Coons, Carper, Carney announce $500,000 for a University Center Economic Development Program at Delaware State University

This federal grant will help create the state’s first University Center Economic Development Program

WILMINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper, and Representative John Carney today announced a total of $500,000 in U.S. Department of Commerce funding through the Economic Development Administration for the creation of a University Center Economic Development Program at Delaware State University.

The University Center will serve as a hub for enhancing regional economic development through conducting applied research and by providing technical assistance to public and private sector organizations.

“This is really terrific news for Delaware State University and the surrounding business community,” Senator Coons said. “The positive impact from the school’s University Center will have a ripple effect on economic development throughout the state. When I learned that Delaware was one of only a few states without a University Center, I introduced an amendment that would set a goal for creating these centers in every state. I’m proud that, thanks to this grant, Delaware will now be part of a partnership where economic development takes center stage.”

“This grant is the first step toward strengthening economic development and entrepreneurship at Delaware State University and in Kent and Sussex Counties,” said Senator Carper. “Investments in higher education like these help forge productive relationships between the university and local businesses and government. By sharing valuable resources and information these public-private partnerships will enable our local community to better understand and forecast the economic climate.”

“Creating jobs to grow the economy has to be our highest priority,” said Congressman Carney. “The jobs of the future depend on the development of new ideas. University Centers are a tremendous tool that brings businesses, government, and universities together to support innovation in a way that leads to economic development. The students, faculty, and staff at Delaware State University have a lot to offer in this area, and I’m glad they are getting this opportunity to create job growth and strengthen the state’s economy.”

The EDA grant will be distributed at $100,000 per year for five years.

Senator Coons, Senator Carper, and Congressman Carney actively supported Delaware State University’s grant application. A letter of support is attached and copied below.

June 27, 2011

Mr. John Fernandez
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Suite 7800
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Mr. Fernandez:

We are writing to express our support for the grant application submitted by the Delaware State University College of Business for the University Center Economic Development Program grant offered through the Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce (CFDA# 11.303).

Delaware State University is proposing the development of a University Center for Economic Development, specifically targeting the economies of Kent and Sussex County in Delaware. The Center will take a long-term, strategic view of economic forces and will focus on providing timely information and reliable analyses. The Center will direct the expertise available at Delaware State University, state agencies and entities, and the private sector, and will have six main areas of responsibility:

1. To compile data required to monitor and forecast economic developments in Delaware, specifically Kent and Sussex Counties

2. To maintain models of the State’s economy with specific attention to Kent and Sussex Counties, which the Center would use to conduct empirical analyses for State, municipal, and private groups.

3. To promote Kent and Sussex County economies, through the Center’s First State Updates.

4. To serve state agencies, municipal governments, non-profit and private organizations and Delaware citizens through the data bank, research, publications, and outreach of the University Center’s Data Center.

5. To develop and enhance marketable job skills through workforce development and coordination efforts with public and private providers

6. To support entrepreneurial efforts through the provision of incubator type services such as marketing research, accounting, project management and IT services.

We believe that the plan for the University Center for Economic Development put forward by Delaware State University will serve the people of Delaware by building partnerships with organizations inside and outside the University, providing an array of resources and interviews for state print and electronic media, offering appropriate legislative testimony and professional development workshops, and collaborating on research projects for the benefit of the people of Delaware.

We appreciate your consideration of this proposal and ask that you contact us when a decision is rendered. Should you have any questions, we can be reached through our respective staff members: Senator Carper through Mr. Josh Magarik at (302) 573-6291, Senator Coons through Ms. Latisha Bracy at (302) 573-6345 and Congressman Carney through Ms. Molly Magarik at (302) 428-1902.


Thomas R. Carper
United States Senator

Christopher A. Coons
United States Senator

John C. Carney, Jr.
Member of Congress