Calling Dr. Foreman

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Good morning all,

Kurt Foreman looks like a solid choice to head the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

Foreman, a graduate of Lancaster’s Franklin and Marshall College, comes with a solid background in leading private sector-led economic development efforts for the partnership.

He succeeds Interim CEO and retired Hercules-Ashland executive John Riley, who agreed to hold down the fort for the new nonprofit organization while the search was underway for a permanent CEO.

Foreman faces the formidable task of guiding economic efforts in a state with minimal resources when compared to its neighbors. Also in the mix are uncertainties that came with a restructuring of DEDO and the possible loss of institutional knowledge that comes with any major changeover.

Resources have long been a challenge for Delaware, which at one time went with a “Smaller, Faster Smarter” slogan and scored some successes in luring companies away from slower-moving neighbors with the help of its Strategic Development Fund.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey may not have picked up any speed, but have made up for that disadvantage with a willingness to spend heavily to retain existing companies. Packages used to bring companies to Camden, NJ have been breathtakingly large.

The window may be open at least a crack in Delaware for companies that might wish to relocate in the state’s coastal zone.

Recent legislation has opened the door to redevelopment in selected tracts within the coastal zone and the former Sunoco refinery site, which extends into Delaware, has been a beneficiary.

Prior to passage, the added layers of regulation from the Coastal Zone Act may have doomed efforts to bring blue collar jobs to brownfield areas.

Here’s to a sunnier weekend. The newsletter returns on Monday. – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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