There is no question that a healthy economy requires a strong workforce. A skilled and educated workforce draws businesses to Delaware and encourages existing businesses to stay and expand here. Whether college-bound or preparing for a technical or trade job, individuals need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful. Superstars in Education and Training seeks to celebrate innovative programs that contribute to developing the state’s workforce—of today and tomorrow. Since 1989, the awards program has been recognizing educational programs for innovative and impactful programming. The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, The Partnership, Inc., are pleased to announce the 2023 Superstars in Education and Training award winners, all of which exemplify creativity and efficacy in workforce development initiatives. These winners will be recognized at a reception and awards ceremony on Monday, May 8, 2023. The event will be held at 4:45 p.m. in Wilmington University’s Doberstein Admissions Center Auditorium in New Castle. While many go through the rigorous application process, only a handful of winners are selected each year. An award is given to one independent training and certificate provider, a higher education program, and a Delaware high school. Awards of Excellence are also granted to deserving companies. The Superstars in Education and Training program welcomes three new Superstars to its roster: Jobs for Delaware Graduates Independent Training and Certificate Provider Jobs for Delaware Graduates, Inc. (JDG) is a school-to-work transitional program dedicated to helping youth reach academic and economic success. The program exposes middle and high school students to emerging careers and higher levels of education and training. Students who participate in JDG receive weekly in-class instruction, credit towards graduation, leadership development, community service, career coaching, and access to internships, job shadowing, and paid work experiences. The JDG model has been replicated in 39 states, leaving a footprint across 1,500 communities nationwide. Their national affiliate, Jobs for America’s Graduates, is a state-based organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among at-risk students. Delaware Technical Community College Higher Education Program The Patient Care Assistant Pathway Program at Delaware Technical Community College is a 600-hour, two-year, comprehensive program conducted in partnership with school districts across the state. This certificate-to-associate degree training program consists of classroom instruction, lab practicum, and supervised activities in clinics, long term care facilities, and other health care agencies. Students become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) within the first six months of the program, earn a Phlebotomy credential mid-program, and a Patient Care Technician (PCT) credential by the end of year two. Upon program completion, students are also eligible to earn up to 11 college credits towards a degree program at Delaware Tech. Odyssey Charter School High School The Food Studies Career and Technical Pathway (CTE) at Odyssey High School is one-of-a-kind in Delaware. The pathway’s goals are for participants to see food as a reflection of society’s values and priorities; to understand the importance of food as a foundation for individual, community, and environmental wellbeing; and to see food as an avenue for empowerment, citizenship, and social justice. The feature experience for the students is working in the Hydroponic Learning Lab, where they are introduced to cutting-edge technology through sustainable urban farming. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Odyssey Charter School has donated more than 7,000 pounds of fresh produce and distributed more than 6,000 meal kits for people in need. Award of Excellence Recipients: Delaware Skills Center - Independent Training and Certificate Provider Early College School at Delaware State University - Higher Education Leaders from the education, business, and nonprofit communities as well as elected officials will make appearances during the reception and awards ceremony on May 8. The cost to attend is $45 for Delaware State Chamber members and $60 for future members. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information or to register, click here.