The Delaware Manufacturing Association (DMA)is an affiliate of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and is the state representative of the National Association of Manufacturing. Our members include manufacturing firms and plants of all sizes and business markets from all across the First State. One of our key goals is to consistently promote the growth for Delaware manufacturing and the advantages we offer within the state for potential investors. Our priorities are:
- To promote and support public policies and legislation that seek to help manufacturers in Delaware better compete in a global economy and reduce regulatory efforts that at times constrains job growth opportunities.
- Promote the value of manufacturing and the diversity of career paths available within the community through outreach education aimed at informing the public on what today’s manufacturers do and the skills needed to continue to be competitive.
- We seek to encourage the continued investment into our state’s infrastructure to make sure we are as efficient and as cost effective as we can be as we seek to ship and distribute our raw materials and variety of products.
- We seek to continue to support the numerous private-public workforce development initiatives through the donation of our members’ time, talents and strategic funding support
- We continue to collaborate with fellow Delaware manufacturers to not only leverage best industry practices, but also to connect and nurture potential business partnerships and relationships within the state.
There has been a great deal of activity that we have engaged in over the last few years that continues to keep manufacturing on the forefront within Delaware. Some of those activities include our continued partnership and support of Delaware Technical Community College and the local school systems to further develop our Manufacturing Career Pathway program.
With an established program in New Castle County (and one earmarked for Sussex County and in the planning stages for Kent County), we are utilizing this vocational program to provide high school students a rigorous, technology-based education with some practical hands-on experience in some of Delaware’s leading manufacturing facilities. In the past year alone, we were able to place students into facilities where they were able to perform tasks that made a significant contribution to the facility where they worked and the students were well received and appreciated for their efforts by their mentors.
Our goal is that the connections that were made will continue and that many of these students will have the choice of an employment opportunity upon graduation or the continuance of their education through a two- or four- year engineering technology program. We are excited about the opportunities for these programs and we are anticipating the same kind of success for our current Sussex County (and future Kent County) program as well.
Not only have we sought to broaden the education of our future workforce in the past year, but we also had a concerted effort to bring together the Economic Development Offices of all three counties to introduce them to the DMA. Our desire is that if we have manufacturers who are seeking to grow and expand as our economy strengthens, that they do so within the borders of the state of Delaware. Our desire within DMA is to make sure that we provide each county the audience with the members of DMA so they will have the opportunity to explain what advantages their individual counties can offer to prospective investors.
With pending mentoring partnerships with Delaware State University, additional exposure of Manufacturing Career Opportunities across the state, and continued advocacy of a “better Delaware for better manufacturing,” the Delaware Manufacturers Association continues to have a full plate ahead of us in 2016, and we are eager to continue to support the growth and promotion of our Manufacturing industries within our great state.
For more information or to get involved with any of the many DMA activities, please contact Cheryl Corn with the State Chamber at (302) 576-6572 or [email protected].
Brian Nixon is chairman of the Delaware Manufacturing Association, one of five affiliates of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.