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UD offers biz grad students for part-time employment

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If you ask human resources professionals their most pressing concern, most will agree that it’s a serious talent shortage. In fact, 28 percent of executives say that they’re challenged by a lack of future leaders in their organizations. This means that organizations must take new approaches to developing and engaging talent.

One valuable tool in the fight against talent shortages is the employment of graduate students, who have mastered a number of useful abilities and are open to learning new skills. Companies who employ these graduate student workers can develop bench strength and build a talent pipeline while completing current projects.

Graduate students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics are available to work for 20 hours per week for a reasonable cost. The university is currently taking employer requests for the next semester work period, which runs from mid-January through mid-May.

These students are experienced in all business disciplines including information systems and technology management, finance, accounting, marketing and MBA studies. 

To learn more, contact Rita Hollingsworth at (302) 831-4831 or Ritah@udel.edu.

Glasgow Medical Center opens unit on STAR Campus

Glasgow Medical Center has opened the doors of its newest Medical Aid Unit on the STAR Campus of the University of Delaware on South College Avenue.

Glasgow Medical Aid Units are urgent-care facilities, staffed by physicians and nurses seven days a week. Patients are typically in and out within an hour and no appointment is necessary. When an illness or minor injury requires medical attention but does not call for an emergency room visit, or takes place outside of a physician’s office hours, Medical Aid Units are an attractive wellness alternative.

“Having convenient medical facilities nearby adds value to an area,” said Mark Doughty, chief operating officer of Glasgow Medical Center. “The addition of a Glasgow Medical Aid Unit to the STAR campus will not only ensure that the hard working professionals of the campus are well cared for, in a timely and convenient fashion, but will also make the campus more attractive to additional businesses.”

The three existing Glasgow Medical Aid Units currently see 60,000 patients per year, and with the addition of the STAR campus, projections suggest the company’s annual reach will exceed 80,000. The STAR campus facility is responsible for creating six to eight new jobs.

Reading Assist Institute wins 21st Century Solutions grant

As a winner of a 21st Century Solutions grant, Reading Assist Institute will receive $25,000 from NBC10/WCAU and Telemundo62/WWSI, in partnership with the NBCUniversal Foundation.

The grant will support the work of the RAI Reading Corps, a pilot program for reading intervention in partnership with AmeriCorps and the Colonial School District. RAI Reading Corps interventionists work one-on-one, five days a week, with first- through third-grade students in the Colonial School District, many of whom face significant academic challenges that make it difficult to learn the basic foundational skills of reading through general classroom instruction.

“Being called a 21st Century Solution just shows how far ahead our founders were when they developed this program more than 25 years ago,” said Victoria Innes, executive director of Reading Assist Institute. “But, throughout those years, emerging data and scientific research have confirmed time and again that our approach works. We know we have the instructional program capable of helping children who struggle to learn the basic foundational skills. We know these children can become successful readers. Our challenge now is a matter of resources, in our mission to get this program in front of the children who need it the most.”

Every RAI Reading Corps member undergoes more than 50 hours of training in the RAI reading intervention program, which is grounded in Orton-Gillingham principles and focuses on the skills that make up the mechanics of reading. The program is designed to help students who face even the most severe reading challenges.

Reading Assist Institute is a 26-year-old nonprofit based in Wilmington and Milford.

WSFS acquires Penn Liberty in $101 million deal

WSFS Financial Corp. and Penn Liberty Financial Corp. have signed a definitive agreement and plan of reorganization whereby WSFS Financial Corp. will acquire Penn Liberty Financial Corp.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Penn Liberty Bank, the wholly owned bank subsidiary of Penn Liberty, will merge into WSFS Financial Corp.’s wholly owned bank subsidiary, WSFS Bank.

Headquartered in Wayne, Pa., Penn Liberty Bank was founded in 2004 to offer financial products and services to small and midsize businesses, professional real estate developers and investors, and retail customers throughout the western suburban Philadelphia marketplace. Penn Liberty reported $651 million in assets, $510 million in loans and $558 million in deposits as of Sept. 30, 2015, and serves its customers from 11 offices in Chester and Montgomery Counties.

Following the merger, WSFS will have 24 offices in southeastern Pennsylvania.

WSFS President and Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Turner said, “We are excited to announce our combination with Penn Liberty Bank, a high-quality community bank with incredibly professional and committed Associates and leadership. Penn Liberty’s 11 locations are a great complement to our Pennsylvania network, including our recently acquired Alliance Bank locations, and Penn Liberty’s experienced management team and commercially-focused business model will add important relationships to our banking franchise.”

The total transaction is valued at approximately $101 million, based on a 10-day volume weighted average price of WSFS common stock, and Penn Liberty’s common shares outstanding of $4.26 million and options outstanding of 685.6 thousand with a weighted average strike price of $10.05. Shareholders of Penn Liberty will be entitled to elect to receive either 0.6601 shares of WSFS common stock or $21.75 in cash for each common share of Penn Liberty, subject to an overall allocation of exchanged Penn Liberty shares into 60 percent WSFS common stock and 40 percent cash. The closing and systems conversion is anticipated to occur early in the third quarter of 2016, subject to approval by Penn Liberty shareholders and regulatory approvals.

Gordon announces move to support establishment of Delaware Board of Trade

New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon announced last week that the county has moved a $3 million investment to help create the Delaware Board of Trade as a Wilmington-based stock exchange.

After initial concerns, he said, a majority of New Castle County Council members now support the plan.

The board is expected to create about 100 well-paying jobs similar to those in the state’s  banking industry, as well as hundreds more indirectly through needed goods and services.

With the county backing, not involving taxpayer funds, board officials have applied for required federal approvals. County support already has helped secure funding from a national bank and is expected to trigger private investments, Gordon said.

The county moved $3 million of the Garstin Trust – privately set up in the 1970s to benefit county parks – from stocks and mutual funds to purchase a secured note providing investment for the board with 6 percent interest for five years.

“Yearly interest payments of $180,000 will continue to be used exclusively for our county parks,” Gordon said.

The investment guarantee is the county’s exclusive lien on the license of software to be used running the Delaware Board of Trade, valued by an outside economist in excess of $3 million, he said.

New Castle County Council passed a resolution on Tuesday opposing the plan, but Gordon reached out Wednesday, meeting members and providing more information, county officials said.

Although use of the fund legally rests at the sole discretion of the county executive, Gordon said he was encouraged by council members’ willingness to reconsider and, with a fuller briefing, reach a consensus in support. He also praised efforts of the county Office of Economic Development led by Marcus Henry to provide council members legal and financial documents that helped allay their concerns.

The Delaware Board of Trade will create a mechanism for small- and medium-cap companies that currently have no such real-time venue to raise capital and trade shares. The ability to create such a stock exchange was established through the American Jobs Act of 2013, passed by Congress with provisions sponsored by Delaware Sen. Tom Carper and Rep. John Carney. 

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