Workforce development
Ecosystem development

After a successful start, the Tech Council of Delaware unveils a new 3-year plan

As the organization leaves the nest and spins out of Rodel, it has a new vision for boosting the local innovation economy.

Zakiyyah Ali, executive director of the Tech Council of Delaware. (Technical.ly/Holly Quinn)

Delaware’s tech ecosystem has Rodel to thank for making the Tech Council of Delaware possible. When it launched three years ago, it was set up within the foundation.

Now that the incubation period is coming to an end, the Tech Council is spinning off as a standalone nonprofit.

The move is part of a new strategy developed with the help of an outside consulting firm, the Detroit-based Barthwell Group. This week, at the council’s second Tech Ecosystem Conference in Wilmington, that strategy was revealed.

It was informed by focus group sessions, interviews and an online survey conducted and shared with Barthwell, as well as background data and information from Rodel.

Changes won’t happen all at once, but starting July 1, the new strategic plan — complete with a new vision, mission and core focus areas and goals — will be in effect for the next three years.

A thriving economy and equitable career opportunities

The Tech Council’s new vision is: “Advocate for and sustain a strong and inclusive Tech workforce in Delaware to ensure a thriving economy and equitable career opportunities for all Delawareans.”

The mandate will continue the Council’s work in supporting and enhancing development for an inclusive workforce. Driving it will be partnerships and members, who will be mobilized to bring in investment.

Its three core focus areas are:

  • Tech talent development and mobility
  • Advocacy
  • Professional network development

Putting the strategy into action

The Tech Council has set objectives and goals it strives to meet over the next year. These include continuing and expanding workforce development programs, seeking out and applying for state and federal grants, hosting networking events and helping employers connect with tech talent.

There is also an advocacy objective, which includes collaborating with legislators to create policy and actively lobbying for legislation impacting the tech industry.

“Our goal and our purpose is to be really clear about what we will advocate for and won’t advocate for,” said Ali, the council’s executive director. “We will not advocate for policies or legislation that does harm to any parts of the tech community.”

It’s not enough to simply respond to existing potential legislation, she said. “Let’s be a proactive voice and work with legislators to put in what we want to see.”

While the Tech Council is a member organization, Ali said the focus is not to push for memberships, but to secure grants that have a real impact on the lives of Delawareans.

“We want to tell the stories of the people and lives that we touch,” Ali said.

Part of that storytelling will be through a new publication called the Chronicle, a partnership with Technical.ly. Issues are available online and in hard copy form at Tech Council Events.

 

Companies: Tech Council of Delaware

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