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Wilmington civic leaders take aim at workforce development


The Wilmington Leaders Alliance, a group  of 30 businesses and civic organizations, officially launched today at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. 

The group, which has spent the last two years on planning and research, aims to work together to bolster Wilmington’s economy. 

There du Pont, president of the Longwood  Foundation and WLA board member, said the goal of the first year will be to focus on workforce development. 

That could include training the unemployed and underemployed, increasing overall “economic vibrancy,” and indirectly improving public safety “because people who have jobs are less likely to stand on corners,” du Pont said. 

But WLA won’t be implementing programs itself. Instead the group will be a facilitator, using its collective knowledge and influence to find, expose and connect employers to programs that could be effective in improving the city’s workforce. Du Pont said the group plans to directly leverage its membership. 

“Our members are all employers,” du Pont said. “So we can bring them to the table faster.”

The group has already selected four organizations to highlight. These include Tech Impact, Year Up, Zip Code Wilmington, and Generation – each focused on job training, largely in the technology sector. 

Another goal of the group is to curb the competitive instinct among businesses and stress the mutual benefit of working together. 

On competition, du Pont said: “It’s not so large that it’s terribly hard to overcome.”

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