Delaware News Roundup: Meet Network Connect, Wilmington’s women-led youth workforce development organization

Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of’s Delaware’s top reports of the week, jobs and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware technology, business, and innovation delivered to your inbox on Thursdays.

We talked about Web3 this month, but we can’t forget that it’s also Women’s History Month. In her honor, this week we spotlight a Wilmington women-led organization called Network connection.

Founded by Erin Hutt and Cierra Hall-Hipkins as of 2019, the nonprofit primarily serves youth in high-needs areas of Delaware and region. One of their programs Future creators of culture, is a workforce development program that takes teens identified as disengaged in the classroom and trains them for a year. This includes six months of trauma-informed skills development and six months of paid internship with one of Network Connect’s community partner organizations. Successful students can become mentors themselves or become leaders in other Network Connect programs, including Community Wellness Ambassadors, Teen Co-Learning Spaces and Reverse ACES.

Current future culture makers this reporter spoke to praised the experience.

“My attitude is much better” Damon Wilson says In addition to learning the basics of the workforce, she said, they learn to take care of their mental health with breathing and concentration exercises.

“It taught me a lot, like how to be yourself with new people”, participant Camille Broc noted. “How to create CVs, how to go out in a new world.”

The organization has seen quite significant growth in its short existence, in part because there has been an increased need for support in vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hall-Hipkins expects this growth to continue.

“We have a big strategic plan this year,” she said. “Over the next two months we will announce our expansion into Kent County and Sussex County, as well as Chester [Pennsylvania] and Baltimore. We try to really focus on Wilmington, but understanding the surrounding areas helps us tackle some of the issues we face.


Also this week, I explored technology migration patterns, the history of Delaware’s broadband expansion, and took a closer look at some of the higher education benefits offered by various tech companies.

What else happened this week in Delaware?

Invest in Newarkthe City of Newark economic development corporation, received an investment of $500,000 from JPMorgan Chasewhich will be used to expand its current customized loan, technical assistance and business development programs.

HX Innovations launches a sports science station within the Field Chase in Wilmington on March 29. The biomechanics startup will provide its shoe power and endurance performance ratings to teams and clubs that train or compete at Chase Fieldhouse.

The Approaching Storm Marching Band of Delaware State University made his Madison Square Garden debut on March 22, performing at halftime during the NBA game between the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks.

Check out the Delaware high school entrepreneurs who won the Showcase EntreX Venture earlier this month at University of Delaware.

This week, Technological impactwhich recently opened a permanent base in Wilmington, celebrates its 1,000th graduate.

The edge of the Wilmington River juice sealproperty of lanice wilson and Renee Sellersreceived a special visit for Women’s History Month from Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and US Small Business Administration Delaware Director michelle harris on March 23, highlighting its mission of community support and mentoring promising black entrepreneurs.

MIT diploma Max Williamson chose to return to Delaware to work in public policy rather than pursue his sought-after computer science degree in Silicon Valley. Read the story in MIT News.

Upcoming Delaware Events

On March 25 at 4 p.m., the Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) will host the opening of “Downtown Reimagined”, a new exhibition of sidewalk photography featuring works by local photographers Joe from Tufo of Photography Moonloop, Shakira Hunt of Sharika Hunt Creative and Andre Wright Jr. of The Original Colors Collective. The artwork is installed at 417 N Market St. After the unveiling, guests are invited to join the artists for a reception at The Knight’s Bar across the street at The Queen.

The BPG is also inviting secondary school students to apply for its summer 2022 BPG University internship program. Launched last year, BPG U is the group’s first internship program designed explicitly for teenagers to learn all aspects of property development before they graduate from high school. The 2022 summer session will start on June 13 and will continue until July 1. Students must be a rising junior or senior at a Delaware high school to apply. Applications are due April 15.

Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast 2022 — which, as always, isn’t just for Philadelphians — returns in May.’s Developer Conferenceour annual “tasting menu” of trending tech topics and real-world deployments, will take a hybrid spin on May 10. Then join entrepreneurs, HR professionals, and other culture and tech ecosystem leaders to build better businesses at Introduced May 12.

Did you hear? Festivals are back in force this year, including the ladybug party (May 20), the Flower market (5 to 7 May) and Italian Festival of St. Anthony (June 6 to 19). the Delaware State Fair also announced its concert lineup for the week of the festival (July 21-30), which includes Nelly, Halestorm, Frank Reyes and Hank Williams, Jr.

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