As the 2023 Reinventing Delaware process nears completion, we’re spotlighting the top four ideas. This week’s featured finalist is an idea championed by Shelly Cecchett, Scott Malfitano, Troy Mix, and Linda Parkowski – Move2Delaware.

The following interview provides additional information about Move2Delaware:

PDFF: How would you describe your idea in a 30-second pitch?

Move2Delaware:  We are building Move2Delaware to enhance Delaware’s ability to attract and retain talent while strengthening the economic and social fabric of communities statewide. Core program elements include a $10,000 relocation incentive, partnerships with local companies, a competitive selection process to match talent with Delaware, and programming to connect Move2Delaware matches with professional networking and community-building opportunities. We envision Move2Delaware as an agile tool for talent attraction that can be targeted and scaled to address Delaware’s economic and workforce development needs over time.

PDFF: In what ways will your idea benefit the community, Delaware, or the world?

Move2Delaware: Move2Delaware will benefit the community and state in numerous ways. The program serves as a foundational structure to meet the economic development efforts to fill in-demand jobs with a pool of qualified candidates in targeted industries. Principally, the pilot program will serve as a catalyst for recruiting highly-skilled, high-paying job candidates to the state. Outside of company-specific job openings, there are no incentives to recruit a multitude of candidates to move to Delaware. The program provides a relocation incentive which represents a unique tool in their recruitment toolbox.

PDFF: How are you planning to achieve your idea’s purpose?

Move2Delaware:  Move2Delaware will launch as a pilot program initially focused on attracting candidates to move to Kent County, Delaware. We targeted Kent County for the initial launch due to the strong partnerships with the Kent Sussex Leadership Alliance and local employers in order to help attract and fill the immediate need for skilled positions in the private sector.  The Move2Delaware initiative will help us measure the draw of the program from the surrounding 100 miles from Maryland, Virginia, and the Philadelphia region.

Our pilot goal is to secure ten individuals to move to Delaware and contribute to our state’s economy. As we measure the impact in Kent County, it is likely that the program will roll out statewide. Attracting ten new tax-paying Delawareans may shift between counties as we measure our data.

PDFF: Will you or someone other than yourself champion this idea should it continue to move forward, and why? If applicable, who else is on your team?

Move2Delaware: A strong team consisting of Troy Mix, Associate Director at the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, Linda Parkowski, Executive Director of the Kent Economic Partnership, as well as Shelly Cecchett, Executive Director of the Greater Kent Committee, and Scott Malfitano from CSC and Chair of the Delaware Workforce Development Board have championed the Move2Delaware concept.

This group will continue to serve as the nucleus of the initiative to ensure the pilot is launched and modified as we grow. The program will establish a working board of directors consisting of local businesses and universities. We foresee serving as a vital partner to the State Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, local chambers, and businesses as we expand statewide, helping attract new talent to the first state.