Created in 2017 to lead statewide economic development efforts, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) works closely with economic development leaders throughout the state as a public-private nonprofit resource focused on attracting, growing, and keeping businesses in Delaware; building a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and supporting private employers in identifying and developing talent.
DPP cultivates relationships and networks with business executives, site selectors and developers; state, county and municipal officers and agencies; educational institutions, chambers of commerce and other support organizations; and small businesses, startups, and their founders.
Among the organizations DPP partners with to advance prosperity in the First State is WSFS.
“WSFS Bank has been an investor in DPP since the very beginning and has been essential in some of our cornerstone projects, including the development of our award-winning website ChooseDelaware, which is designed for site selectors and executives tasked with growing and locating businesses,” said Kurt Foreman, President & CEO of DPP.
“WSFS also supported DPP’s new place marketing website LiveLoveDelaware, which serves as a value-add for employers for attracting new talent to consider all that Delaware has to offer,” said Michele Schiavoni, Vice President, External Relations at DPP.
“In addition, Rodger Levenson, WSFS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, plays a key role in our current Advancing Prosperity campaign,” added Foreman. “Respected leaders like Rodger add an important level of credibility and trust for others considering becoming investors in DPP.”
“The mission and core tenets of DPP closely align with key pillars of the WSFS CARES Foundation, including community investment, revitalization and business economic empowerment, education and leadership development,” said Vernita Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS. “For nearly 200 years, WSFS has been dedicated to the success of our communities, and we’re proud to partner with an organization that shares that commitment.”
In just five short years, DPP has made a major impact by working closely with various partners to bring jobs with good wages and benefits to the state, promoting investment in Delaware buildings and equipment, increasing the market for local goods and services, and attracting top-notch workforce talent.
“We like to say the word partnership in our name is intentional and very much in keeping with Delaware’s commitment to ease-of-access to the stakeholders throughout the state,” said DPP President and CEO Kurt Foreman.
DPP’s efforts help build the Delaware brand as a world-class location for business and individual prosperity in many ways, including sharing the stories of those whose businesses and lives are thriving in Delaware, as well as one of its newer efforts, Startup302.
DPP serves as the organizer and a sponsor of Startup302 – now in its second year – which is a community led funding competition focused on underrepresented founders with early-stage, technology-enabled ventures, with a goal of tackling funding inequities and strengthening the regional startup community.
This year’s competition finals will take place virtually in May, and the program will offer more than $150,000 in grant prizes, along with mentoring and valuable networking connections such as introductions to potential investors.
“WSFS is proud to support DPP and its impactful initiatives and programs,” said Dorsey. “We look forward to continuing to partner with the organization in the future.”
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