Five years after the official end of the Great Recession, Delaware continued to struggle with the lasting effects of the downturn. Faced with budget challenges; a restructuring of the state’s traditional industry clusters; and intense regional and national competition for jobs, investment, and talent, aggressive action was called for. Spurred by concerns about the state’s competitive position, the Delaware Business Roundtable (Roundtable) sought to create a non-partisan, forward-looking framework that would lead to a more robust partnership between the public and private sectors to guide future success.
Towards that end, TIP Strategies was commissioned by the Roundtable to prepare a statewide strategy for economic growth and prosperity. Following a review of relevant industry and demographic trends, TIP connected with more than 100 Delaware residents representing economic development organizations, higher education institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations. To refine the team’s understanding of Delaware’s competitive position, the state was benchmarked against other states and regions facing similar crises. The resulting Growth Agenda, released in 2016, offered a set of long-term strategic recommendations to guide the state’s economic development program sustainably over the next five years. The plan laid out wide-ranging recommendations to enable Delaware to strengthen its competitive position and encourage a “re-set” of economic development in the state. The most significant of these recommendations was the creation of a public-private partnership to deliver economic development programs and services. The Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) was formally created by the Delaware General Assembly in July 2017.