Gov. John Carney signed his first executive order Jan. 18, establishing a 14-member working group to develop recommendations for implementing a public-private partnership at the Delaware Economic Development Office.

The group will explore how state government can work with the private sector to improve economic development efforts in Delaware, including ways to attract new growing companies to the state, build a stronger entrepreneurial community and support innovation.

“We are getting started immediately to make sure Delaware is positioned to secure new good-paying jobs of the future. This is job one,” said Carney. “Delaware’s economy is in a period of significant transition, and we must adjust our efforts to compete with other states and countries for jobs and talent. Over the next several months, we will work with members of the general assembly in both parties and the business community on behalf of the people of Delaware.”

Bernice Whaley, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, will continue in her role while the working group completes its work.

The working group will begin its work in February and report back to Carney by April 7. The group will include a member from each of the assembly’s four caucuses; four representatives from the business community; the director of the Delaware Economic Development Office; the governor’s policy director; and representatives from the nonprofit sector, higher education, labor and the public.