In order to achieve a stronger, healthier Delaware, we must tackle some of the toughest health challenges facing our state. As a public health nurse with over 30 years of experience, Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., RNC, FAAN has been at the forefront of some of our most pressing healthcare challenges and has the leadership experience, proven results, and focused solutions to make Delaware a stronger and healthier place.
During her time in the legislature, Bethany has sponsored over 1000 pieces of legislation, many of them impacting the health and wellness of our most vulnerable, our seniors, children, and those battling addiction. Long before serving in the legislature, Bethany provided care and conducted research on chronic disease, disaster preparedness DE Medical Reserve Corps (over 600 volunteers who respond to emergencies statewide). Bethany will continue this fight work to reduce health care costs in Delaware and will ensure our friends, families, and neighbors live longer, happier, and more productive lives.
As a mom, tenured university professor, and former member of the Senate Education Committee, Bethany understands that the number one issue for any parent is their kids’ future. We can’t have that conversation without talking about education. A child’s education is a predictor not only of their ability to find a good job, but the likelihood that they will come into contact with the criminal justice system, the neighborhood they’ll live in, and even their lifespan. A good education is one of the central pillars for a stronger, healthier Delaware.
As Lt. Governor, Bethany will work towards better recognizing and cultivating educator impact; setting up students for success, and preparing Delaware’s students for careers and college.
Delaware’s economy has undergone some significant changes in recent years. Chrysler and GM are no longer the cornerstones of our economy. Even DuPont, a company with more than 200 years of local history, downsized its workforce at the end of last year. Although we’ve enjoyed success in other sectors, the lessons of the past 20 years could not be clearer: we cannot rely on a handful of major employers to carry our economy. Rather, we have to create a business climate that encourages broad-based, cross-sector growth.
In Wilmington and other parts of Delaware, we are already seeing this. Wilmington’s innovation corridor features coworking spaces like the coIN Loft, The Mill, and 1313 Innovation. The state has taken the initiative to establish itself as a hub for blockchain technology, which is already cementing itself as the future of currency and commerce. And our colleges and universities have stepped up not only as world-class educational institutions but as research centers and economic engines that may well prove to be our greatest asset in the years to come.
Moving forward, we must recognize that our economic future is one steeped in innovation and loose networks of entrepreneurs, and supports policy priorities that advance that vision. Just as importantly, it dispels the myth that education and economics are two separate topics. Education is not just the key to a skilled, knowledgeable workforce but—as we increasingly see in the examples shown by the University of Delaware and Delaware State University—an economic powerhouse in its own right.
With over 100,000 small businesses providing local goods and services statewide, local businesses and entrepreneurs are an indispensable part of our economy. We must work to continue to foster and support an innovation economy, especially in our technology, science, and health sectors. We must also expand our homegrown workforce pipeline, to ensure we have a top-notch education system and a top-notch economy to attract students from Delaware and across the nation to work and create jobs in our state.