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Fifth Annual Kent County Economic Summit: “Building A Better Community”

DOVER - More than 250 citizens, educators, business leaders and local government officials were brought together on Tuesday, Sept. 24, by the Delaware Tech Terry Campus and the Central Delaware Business and Entrepreneurship Consortium—with support from the Delaware Economic Development Office -- to advance the common goal of improving the economic life in Kent County.

"My administration has no higher priority than working to grow the economy and fostering an environment for job creation," said Governor Jack Markell, a speaker at the conference. "I am the first to say that we have more work to do, but as analysts at the Federal Reserve have pointed out, Delaware is well-positioned for decades of growth. We have seen progress across our state, including in Kent County where Kraft recently expanded, adding jobs and construction began on the Garrison Energy Center.  To keep moving forward, we must remain focused on the key factors for growing our economy, such as strengthening our workforce, bringing down the cost of business, and improving our infrastructure."

Dr. Mark T. Brainard, executive vice president of Delaware Technical Community College, emphasized how Delaware Tech's mission is in keeping with the focus of the Summit: "Delaware Tech helps build stronger communities by employing more than 700 Kent County residents with an annual payroll of $15 million. The College is also committed to its number one priority - connecting Delawareans with jobs through education. In fact, according to our 2012 placement data, it’s not surprising that 94% of our graduates are either employed or continuing their education."

Fifteen speakers and twenty-eight exhibitors helped showcase many economic opportunities in Kent County in order to build better communities.   Discussion topics that were covered included, “Creating a Climate for Agri-Business”, “Kent County Landscape: Economic Outlook and Year in Review” and “Where Are They Now? Engines of Economic Growth.”