The State of Delaware has experienced 18 years of prosperity stemming from periods of strong economic growth, while enjoying a high quality of life. Many Delawareans are now asking what it will take to sustain this balance.

  • What strategies should be developed to attract growth that fits best with the objectives of Delaware's private and public sector leaders and its citizens' hopes for the future of the state?
  • In an increasingly global economy, what infrastructure and other investments are necessary to ensure success in the year 2010?
  • What's in store for the various segments of the private sector in the face of an increasingly global economy?
  • Is Delaware's economy sufficiently diversified?
  • And if the economy does experience a downturn, what changes will be necessary to adjust?
  • What cutbacks may be necessary and what revenue enhancements should be considered?
  • Most importantly, when future generations of Delawareans need jobs to stay in the state, how can we ensure that good, high-paying jobs will be here?

Faced with these and other questions, the Delaware Public Policy Institute, with support from Governor Thomas R. Carper and other state and county government leaders, embarked last year on a project to examine changes in the public and private sectors between 1945 and 1999 and the impact these changes will have on Delaware's future economic climate. The project, Choices for Delaware: Life and the Economy in 2000 and Beyond, will identify distinctive strengths of the state's political and economic environments and show how we might build on these strengths to promote prosperity and community development.

In short, Choices for Delaware is intended to provide public and private decisionmakers with practical analysis and options for action that will position Delaware for maximum job growth and the efficient delivery of government services, while ensuring Delaware's future quality of life.

The November 1998 forum, co-sponsored by the College of Human Resources, Education and Public Policy's Institute of Public Administration and the College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware, presented the results of extensive research conducted over a six-month period by University of Delaware faculty. The forum initiated the public input phase of the project. Task forces - comprising business, government and community representatives from all three counties - are being appointed to review and formulate specific options for future action, based upon the research presented at the November forum. The task forces are expected to make their reports at a second forum in May 1999.

The ultimate aim of the project is to determine approaches to economic growth that will ensure continued stability for Delaware, minimizing as much as possible any negative aspects of growth; and to recommend options that each level of government might pursue regarding infrastructure investment and fiscal planning, taking into consideration the projections of the private sector vis-a-vis the emerging global economy of the year 2000 and beyond.

For more information, call DPPI at (302) 655-7908