Delaware Public Media

New approaches to creating and filling jobs in Wilmington

Feb 19, 2016


Wilmington is making a concerted push to get more people employed and empowered through nontraditional means. They just wrapped up a successful first year using an online jobs board called Tweet My Jobs.

But it's not the only jobs project that city council member Darius Brown has going for his constituents. Delaware Public Media's Annie Ropeik reached him earlier this week during a City to Work job fair at City Hall.

 

"City to Work is the work that I've been trying to do on city council to really create pathways out of poverty," he said. "We leverage data -- I think data's very important in how we look at the emerging job sectors that we have in our city, and we match Wilmington residents to those workforce and industry trends."

 

He's been doing that through the bricks and mortar job fair, Tweet My Jobs and a temp agency referral program for people who are turned down for city employment.

And Brown says it's not just about spurring and offering the jobs -- it's about making sure people are empowered to fill them.

 

"Even though there may be emerging job sectors and there's historical job growth in the city, it doesn't always translate to actual city residents," he says. "So we have partnerships with Del Tech, we have a federal EPA grant where we're training people in brownfield remediation. There's a need for more blue collar jobs, and for technical jobs. So we're doing those things so we can again fill that hole with the talent divide."

He says he thinks that kind of "concentrated partnership" is starting to have an impact.

"When you talk about creating pathways out of poverty, it is education and employment," he says. "When you look at our adult population, it is definitely connecting them to opportunities."