WILMINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D – Del.) celebrated United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grants to Delaware Technical and Community College, Polytech School District’s Adult Learning Program, and CHEER, Inc.

DTCC will receive USDA and Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education grants totaling $99,550 to equip their soon-to-be-built Automotive Center of Excellence. The grant funds will help purchase the educational shop tools needed to begin a new Diesel Mechanic Training Program. Scheduled to begin in August 2019, this new program is the only diesel mechanic training program located on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Polytech's Adult Education was awarded a $30,000 grant to purchase specialized low voltage training devices for their Electronic Systems Technician Program. Students will use this educational equipment during hands-on portions of the training program that prepares students for employment. Polytech Adult Education is a division of the Polytech School District located in Kent County, Delaware.

CHEER, Inc. will receive $19,000 to fund an architectural and engineering study of their commercial kitchen renovation and expansion project. CHEER, Inc. produces more than 1,700 meals per day for distribution to rural seniors throughout Sussex County. Their commercial kitchen space is over 40 years old with limited capacity to support the volume of nutritional/meals-on-wheels services necessary to serve the area's seniors. CHEER, Inc. is a non-profit providing services to help seniors maintain their independence and a high quality of life.

“All three grant recipients enrich their communities and make Delaware stronger,” said Senator Carper. “The Delaware Tech and the Polytech School District grants will help equip Delawareans with the skills they need for well-paying jobs, and the investment in CHEER Inc. will bolster critical efforts to give First State seniors additional peace of mind and financial security.  I want to thank USDA for its commitment to Delaware rural communities.”

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have worked hard to secure funding for USDA Rural Development grants because they allow organizations like CHEER, DelTech, and Polytech expand and reach more people in Kent and Sussex Countries,” said Senator Coons. “From preparing our students for technical careers to providing food to seniors, these federal programs are making a real difference for Delawareans up and down our state.”

“Through my work on the House Agriculture Committee and in my travels up and down the state, I see firsthand the pressing need to provide rural communities with the tools needed to prepare for good-paying jobs and help non-profits serve under-resourced communities,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “These USDA Rural Development grants will do just that. I look forward to the positive impact Delaware Tech, the Polytech School District, and CHEER, Inc. will be able to make in Kent and Sussex with these funds.”