Matt Meyer

County Executive

New Castle County, DE

Matthew Meyer has lived an extraordinary life of service, educating high needs Washington, DC and Wilmington children and creating jobs in some of the most challenging neighborhoods in East Africa. Mr. Meyer has won awards for his Mathematics instruction, worked as an attorney at a leading global law firm, started two companies and served in Iraq as a diplomat. As a diplomat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, Mr. Meyer worked with Americans and Iraqis to build a lasting peace in Mosul, embedded with the US military for one year.

After a stunning upset over a three-term incumbent in his first run for public office in 2016, Mr. Meyer immediately brought fresh ideas as the chief executive of Delaware's largest local government. Within eight weeks, Mr. Meyer had attacked fraud, waste and abuse and reduced county spending by nearly 3%. In his first year in office, Mr. Meyer appointed the first African-American police chief in the 104 year history of the state's second largest police department, held the first-ever county Iftar dinner, attracted Del Monte Fresh Produce to announce plans to build their largest US distribution facility, and saved county taxpayers over $2 million through modifications to the farmland preservation program. Mr. Meyer recently announced innovative literacy and engineering programming in the state's largest library system, focused on providing equal opportunity, as well as an online technology platform that enables citizens to view county tax spending online just as you can view your bank statements. 

 

 

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

Across the country and in New Castle County, there is a mismatch between available jobs and people skilled to perform them. One key gap is in the technology area, where the jobs of tomorrow across many industries will increasingly rely on software development skills, and where there exists a shortage of qualified developers.

In schools serving low-income students in New Castle County, there is little intensive technology education, creating an income-based gap in educational –and career– opportunities. Leaders in county government created the vision for 1000 Kids Coding to help fill that gap by providing hands-on technology education programs in middle and high schools and other settings to prepare county youth for the jobs of tomorrow.

Solution

1000 Kids Coding will engage students in intensive coding education, including designing websites for actual clients. Working with partners who are experts in teaching and mentoring students in coding skills and client engagement, students will learn underlying coding languages and apply them by designing real websites for actual clients. We piloted this concept this summer as part of the county’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

The firm Code Differently engaged 23 students from low-income families in a “Development Shop” or “Dev Shop” environment, and the students got paid to work in teams to design websites for clients, using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The students made amazing progress in the 9-weeks, in both coding and soft skills.


Problem

Young adults and teenagers can be disconnected from their communities, schools, and the workforce, which can lead to involvement in violence and crime. 

Solution
For years the county has had a summer jobs program for high school students. Months into his first term, Matthew Meyer created a Second Chance Scholars program. Mr. Meyer utilized data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a recent epidemiological study that identified characteristics most often found in young adults and teenagers engaged in violence in New Castle County’s largest city. The administration then identified a small group of high school students with such characteristics and invited them into the summer jobs program. Using data and smart science, Mr. Meyer’s administration is focused on identifying those individuals most likely to engage in criminal activity and immersing such individuals in alternatives to violence, educational and job training opportunities, mentorship and networks of community support.