The Power of Collaboration, Sussex County Today and Tomorrow Conference
Collaboration is a word that Delmarva knows well.
Our close-knit neighborhoods and the people who live in them just love to work together to make something great happen.
The Power of Collaboration was the theme of the 24th Annual Sussex County Today and Tomorrow Conference hosted at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown, Del. that took place on Oct. 25.
Dr. Bobbi Barends, vice president and campus director at Delaware Technical Community College, Michael Vincent, president of the Sussex County Council, and Dr. Mark Brainard, President of Delaware Technical Community College kicked the conference off with some wonderful things the community and the college is doing. For example, 30 Prizes in 30 Days where local businesses donate local prizes is starting in November. This year, 90 prizes valued at a total of $12,000.00, were donated. Register for your chance to win here.
There were two 1 Million Cups presentations as well. 1 Million Cups is a free program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs with their communities. Ben Jones and Jenn Rowan talked about their business Lifecycle. The shop specializes in bicycles (new and used), gear, and service as well as, bicycle safety and maintenance classes.
Jenn and Ben, Sussex County natives and Delaware Tech graduates, say their business is about promoting community outdoor recreation. They simply want you to pick up a bike and ride. If you need an adaptive bike, they can build one for you! Lifecycle opened in March 2017 in Downtown Milford.
The next presentation was given by Jimmy Wheatley who built the company, VR Wheatley, with a goal to make educational virtual reality teacher friendly while keeping costs down as much as possible. He builds plug and play ready packages catering to each users wants and needs.
Following the 1 Million Cups presenters, there was a panel discussion where local businesses and community members talk about their collaboration experiences.
Jeff Fried, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare, and Steve Rose, president and CEO of Nanticoke Health Services talked about their collaboration with healthcare and using similar technology in their facilities.
Dr. Brainard, Heath Chasnov, superintendent of Woodbridge School District, and Eli Valenzuela, president and CEO of First State Manufacturing, talk about their collaboration with the dual enrollment program. They explained how students in high school can attend college courses as well to obtain certain college credits which will transfer to many colleges after they graduate high school. They were finding that some students did not want to attend college right after graduating and wanted to start working instead so they created a partnership. High school students were able to work a certain amount of hours learning the trade and take classes which they would earn a certification for. Once the student graduated, they would already have that experience to go out and get a job.
James Hulings, lieutenant with the Delaware State Police, Nicole Sapp, intelligence analyst with the Delaware State Police, and Robert Stuart, Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, talked about their collaboration with the opioid epidemic in Delaware. They talked about deaths from overdoses, how many people were arrested from trying to distribute drugs, and how many times Narcan has been administered by their staff.
Carlie Carey, owner of One Coastal, and Matt Holloway, owner of Baywater Farms talked about how they collaborate and help one anthers business. Carlie needed fresh vegetables and herbs and when Matt started growing those items, they connected and have a great partnership now.
Following he panel discussion, there were breakout sessions you could attend with different topics such as, the importance of building partnerships, economic opportunities, cyber security, and some statistic information for the state of Delaware such as the average salary and how many people move here after retiring.
Lastly, Delaware Governor John Carney Jr. gave the keynote address. He started off by talking about how laid back Sussex County makes him feel and how beautiful Delaware is from a recent helicopter ride. He also addressed two main concerns he has for the future of Delaware since this was the “today and tomorrow conference.” Gov. Carney said the two big concerns he has are the cost of healthcare, but that it’s something all of America is trying to figure out. His second concern is having trained workforce ready to go to work.
Gov. Carney also says he realizes something else that is happening in Delaware.
“The future is going to be more about small, local businesses, than big companies,” Gov. Carney says.
Next year marks the 25th annual year for this conference, so keep your calendars open the third week in October 2018. The 2018 Social Media Conference at Delaware Tech is coming up on February 15. Register here.