Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware made more specific references to manufacturing in his State of the State address Thursday than any other of his gubernatorial peers we’ve checked on this year. (Transcript) After talking briefly about several government programs targeted at business — the Delaware Strategic Fund and a proposed Job Creation Infrastructure Investment Fund — the Democrat continued:
[To] drive home the message that Delaware is the best place to start and grow a business, we must promote job-creating capital investment. For businesses large or small that are willing to put Delawareans to work in a new or expanded manufacturing facility — whether it be for traditional manufacturing, or for clean energy — we will provide tax credits to support that job growth. We must continue to create a business climate that puts our neighbors back to work and that puts Delaware back at the forefront of making things again.
Historically, Delaware has been defined by what we make — from Dupont’s mills in the 19th Century, to the Pontiac and Chrysler plants of the 20th, to, today, Atlantis Industries in Milton, providing advanced parts design and tooling for customers all over the country, and TA Instruments in New Castle, designing and manufacturing highly sophisticated measurement devices. Manufacturing jobs have provided a ladder to economic independence for countless families and they must remain part of our economic future.
That is why our administration is joining with the Delaware Manufacturing Association, led by Chamber of Commerce President Jim Wolfe. This partnership will build on effective past outreach to local manufacturers on topics ranging from lean manufacturing techniques to energy savings programs. Together, we will work to develop and implement new ways to expand manufacturing jobs.
Excellent decision, Governor, with tremendous potential for substantive follow-up.