Stem Delaware Center for Life Science Education and Training

$3 million pilot program to find, train people for STEM jobs

Betsy PriceBusiness, Headlines

Stem Delaware Center for Life Science Education and Training

Michael Fleming, Delaware Bio president and CEO, announces the new job-focused d Delaware Center for Life Science Education and Training.

A new 3-year pilot program bolstered by federal and state money will recruit and train Delawareans in STEM skills needed for basic laboratory and advanced biomanufacturing jobs.

The move is part of a state focus on training a workforce for the future, partly to attract and keep the kind of STEM-related businesses expected to grow and provide more jobs in the future.

Just recently, for example, the state announced $14.8 million in grants for Incyte, a biopharmaceutical company, to move office jobs into downtown Wilmington and refit work space at its Alapocas campus as labs. The move is expected to bring 500 new jobs to the state.

The newly formed Delaware Center for Life Science Education and Training, was created by the Delaware BioScience Association two years after it released a report with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership that identified the need to invest in the development of a diverse, prepared and resilient workforce to ensure future life science industry growth.

“The simple goal of these initiatives is to make Delaware the very best place in the world for employers to find life science talent at every level – from advanced manufacturing operators to PhDs,” said Michael Fleming, Delaware Bio president and CEO. “These new efforts will attract talent and companies of all sizes, strengthen our state’s manufacturing capability, boost regional economic growth and advance our national security.”

The move was celebrated Friday morning at EastSide Charter School’s new Chemours STEM Hub. The 40,000 square foot facility  is expected to be finished during the 2024-25 school year.


Reps.Spiro Mantzavinos, from left, Krista Griffith and Mike Smith are sponsoring a bill to help keep college graduates in Delaware for STEM jobs.

STEM funding

Key initial funding for the center will come from a $2.1 million Congressionally Directed Spending grant supported by U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, as well as the Delaware BioScience Association and additional private financial and in-kind support.

The Delaware Life Science Caucus, including Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, Rep. Krista Griffith, D-Fairfax, and Sen. Spiro Mantzavinos, D-Wilmington, plan to create a Delaware STEM Talent Advancement and Retention program to attract and retain new university graduates with Delaware STEM employers by supporting a portion of their college loan payments.

House Bill 435, sponsored by Griffith, Smith and Mantzavinos, will give qualified job candidates grants of $1,000 to $6,000, depending on their education level.

The Center for Life Science Education is set to launch in early 2025 and will create strategic partnerships with industry, academic institutions and community organizations to find and train workers.

Key partners include non-profit community organizations serving the City of Wilmington, such as The Warehouse, West End Neighborhood House, and East Side Charter.

The pilot training program will take place at the Chemours STEM Hub at Eastside Charter School and other locations.

“These important STEM-focused initiatives will serve the state well by addressing employer needs, informing communities about jobs in a robust area of our economy, retaining science and technology companies and keeping talent in Delaware which is a wellspring for any industry sector,” said Kurt Foreman, president and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.


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