Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Tech Impact is bringing customer experience training to Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution

Plus, the nonprofit's Delaware Data Innovation Lab gets federal funding, Carvertise partners with Gopuff, and a rundown of upcoming tech and business events.

Ryan Harrington of Tech Impact's Delaware Data Innovation Lab.

(Courtesy photo)

Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of Technical.ly’s best Delaware reporting from the week, job openings and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware tech, business and innovation news in your inbox on Thursdays.


Tech Impact keeps expanding.

Following the opening of a new office in Wilmington and recent merger with the Delaware Data Innovation Lab, one of the tech education nonprofit’s program’s previously only offered in Las Vegas has officially launched in Delaware, where it will be implemented to help formerly incarcerated individuals avoid returning to prison.

It’s not a minute too soon, as Delaware’s recidivism rate for 2022 is reportedly as high 64% — the second highest in the US after Alaska.

In partnership with the Delaware Department of Correction and Delaware Department of Education, Tech Impact launched a pilot cohort of its customer experience training program, CXWorks, at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in New Castle. The program is funded by a grant from Barclays. Six women who are returning citizens are participating in the pilot via Zoom.

This isn’t Baylor’s first tech education program: In 2018, Girl Develop It launched a three-week pilot course in web basics, HTML and CSS using WordPress. Tech Impact’s program goes farther than that 2018 pilot by offering not only education, but apprenticeship placement assistance for participants who successfully complete the course.

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Cohorts are selected from soon-to-be-released women, with the main qualifications being that they have a high school diploma or GED or are working toward one, as well as an interest in education, said Dr. Dwight BoNey, the teacher supervisor at Baylor.

“I really feel that this apprenticeship style model, when it comes to reentry, is the way to go for this population,” Dr. BoNey told Technical.ly. “If we can get this captive audience trained, skilled and educated, and then give them the opportunity to use those skills after being released, it really could lower recidivism.”

The Baylor cohort isn’t the only recent news for the org: The Data Innovation Lab, which uses data science to address societal issues, announced last week that it has received a $3 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act. The grant will fund a new fellowship program that aims to support Delaware state agencies in leveraging data and technology to develop pandemic relief solutions and better serve the community.

The Lab will receive $1 million increments for three years, with the funding will support cohorts of fellows.

Delaware Data Innovation Lab leaders and fellows. (Courtesy photo)

What else happened in Delaware last week?

Wilmington growth company Carvertise is launching a series of campaigns for Philly’s Gopuff and Wawa, highlighting the rise of the home delivery market over the past couple of years.

“I heard the founders of Gopuff, along with [Gopuff SVP of Business] Dan Folkman, speak years ago and was inspired,” Carvertise cofounder Greg Star told Technical.ly. “It’s been unbelievably fun watching and rooting for them, and now it’s a privilege to be able to help and partner with them.”

As we move into May (already!) and our editorial theme for the month — with a focus on company alumni networks and evolving tech ecosystems — we’ll be looking at local startups (and former startups like Carvertise) that have contributed to the growth of Delaware’s entrepreneurship scene with spinoffs, as well as some looks back at the people, entities and supporters who got us to this point, in 2022.

Also, speaking of recidivism: Amazon, with its massive, new-ish facility near Newport, is helping with expungements in Delaware.

Upcoming Delaware events

  • On May 3, join the free Delaware Chamber of Commerce webinar Childcare is Everyone’s Business.
  • DelawareBio’s May BioBreakfast is back in person on Thursday, May 5, at CRISP — that’s the Chestnut Run Innovation & Science Park — from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Mike Wojewodka, EVP of MRA Group, will speak on the exciting development plans for the CRISP site.
  • The 2022 Delaware Chamber Leadership series also kicks off on May 5 at 7:30 a.m. at the University and Whist Club in Wilmington with Doneene Damon, the first Black woman president of Delaware law firm Richards, Layton & Finger.
  • Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast 2022 — which, as always, is not just for Philadelphians — returns this May. Technical.ly’s Developers Conference, our annual “tasting menu” of trending technical topics and real-world deployments, will get a hybrid twist on May 10. Then join entrepreneurs, HR pros and other company culture and tech ecosystem leaders to build better companies at Introduced by Technical.ly on May 12.
  • On May 12, check out the workshop Grant Writing Basics: How to Secure Institutional Funding for Your Nonprofit, led by Stephanie Cory at the Emerging Enterprise Center.
  • The inaugural Stern Healthcare Workforce Summit will open up the conversation around the future of healthcare delivery and the healthcare workforce on May 17 at the STAR campus in Newark.
  • The Bellefonte Arts Festival is back on May 21. The cornerstone event of artist collective Bellefonte Arts has brought local art to the Town of Bellefonte since 2009.

Power Moves

  • Jeff Flynn, the chief of Wilmington’s Office of Economic Development for more than two decades, has stepped down to take the position of president of Applied Bank.
  • And the forthcoming Delaware Journalism Collaborative Project is hiring a project manager. Over the next ~two years, the collaborative will convene newsrooms across Delaware to focus reporting on “the increasing polarization of communities.”
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