Celebrating Long Island Businesses and Embracing Opportunities

One of HIA-LI’s primary missions, as most of you know, is to advocate for the growth and sustainability of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IHP), formerly the Hauppauge Industrial Park.

With the Park in mind, I’m pleased to share this upbeat progress report.

Some context: The Park’s enormous economic potential

The HIA-LI cooperated with the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, the Regional Plan Association, Stony Brook University, and the Town of Smithtown to produce a 160-page “Economic Impact Study and Opportunity Analysis” that reported on the Park’s remarkable magnitude and impact and set forth a vision for further growth.

With 1,300 companies employing 55,000 people, LI-IPH is, amazingly, America’s second-largest industrial park. Delivering $4 billion in annual payroll and $14 billion in overall economic output, the Park accounts for one in twenty Long Island jobs.

58 percent of park tenants fall into the essential “tradeable” category: their exports and services bring new net dollars into the region. This figure contrasts with only 23 percent Island-wide and 36 percent nationally. LI-IPH’s wisest strategy is to help nurture and build out these competitive tradeable industries.

HIA-LI is advancing strategies for attracting the necessary facilities, amenities, talent pool, and knowledge base for further firm clustering – and we’re working to elevate the Park’s brand as Long Island’s premier hub for growing businesses.

Sign up for upcoming virtual events

To help shine a spotlight on the businesses at the LI-IPH, HIA-LI is hosting several virtual events. During these difficult times, we’ve waived attendance fees for these events:

  • Tradable Sectors and How They Impact the Long Island Economy
    Monday, September 14. 9:00am – 10:30am. Click here to register
  • Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge Update: Current and Future Growth
    Tuesday, September 22. 9:00am – 10:30am. Click here to register
  • HIA-LI Business Achievement Awards
    Tuesday, September 29. Networking at 11:00am. Event at 12:00pm. Click here to register
  • HIA-LI Annual Trade Show & Conference
    Wednesday, October 7 and Thursday, October 8. Attendees can click on virtual exhibit booths to schedule live appointments, “walk” the floor, and more.  Click here to register 

Workforce housing is coming to the Park  

To attract a competitive workforce, communities must offer housing for young professionals. To help fulfill the vision set forth in the “Opportunity Analysis” cited above, the Town of Smithtown recently and laudably voted to create a “zoning overlay” district within the Park, allowing for multi-use development, including workforce housing. The Town acted in response to advocacy by HIA-LI and other business and civic interests.

Providing health and safety education for the Park’s workforce 

As you may be aware, many production workers employed in the Park come from communities experiencing high rates of COVID-19. In many instances, workers would benefit by obtaining disease prevention information in their places of work. 

To make this happen, HIA-LI is coordinating with the Suffolk County Department of Labor to introduce workplace-based, COVID-focused health education programming. To learn more, contact: Angela.Ramos@suffolkcountyny.gov

We’re working to help create a workforce training center

In conjunction with the Long Island Regional Planning Council and the Suffolk IDA, HIA-LI is pursuing creation of a regional workforce training center to help businesses at the LI-IPH and elsewhere fill skills gaps among their employees. While the center’s location and syllabus are yet to be determined, its establishment stands to help boost the profitability of LI-IPH firms.

HIA-LI won an international marketing award

A 30-second video promoting the LIIPH has won an internationally recognized Telly Award, which honors achievement in the non-broadcast video industry. Watch the video at www.LI-IPH.org

HIA-LI delivers masks for member businesses

HIA-LI recently teamed up with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to distribute thousands of reusable masks for use by employees of firms at the LI-IPH and elsewhere across Long Island.  

Become a member

If your company isn’t currently an HIA-LI member, we’d love you to join! We offer vital, real-time information to help your business through this recovery – and to let the business community know you’re open for business. Contact Anthony Forgione at (631) 543-5355 or aforgione@hia-li.org to learn more.

During these unprecedented times, it’s more critical than ever to celebrate Long Island business – and to embrace opportunities to help us connect and do business.

Please join us!

By Creating Jobs, Suffolk IDA Gets the Job Done

Suffolk-IDA-logo-2Everyone knows the importance of teamwork when it comes to getting things done. In this spirit, I’d like to devote this blog to recognizing one of HIA-LI’s most valued partners, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA).  

Across the state, IDAs support business growth, relocation, and expansion by lowering the cost of capital investment. They offer tax incentives – and provide access to various business resources and technical assistance opportunities.

And we’re fortunate to have one of the state’s highest-performing IDA’s right here in Suffolk County.

According to Newsday’s report on an analysis by the State Comptroller, tax incentives provided through Long Island’s industrial development agencies – for four years running – had helped to create more jobs as of 2018 than IDAs in any of the state’s nine other regions.

And here on the Island, the largest number of new jobs – 12,881 – were created by 137 projects supported by the Suffolk County IDA.

HIA-LI regularly works cooperatively with the Suffolk IDA to help fortify the regional economy and trigger employment growth. For example, we collaborated with the Suffolk IDA in April 2019 on a 160-page Opportunity Analysis that helped us identify ways to better link the future success of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) to Long Island’s long-term economic revitalization.

In the Opportunity Analysis, James Lima Planning + Development and the Regional Plan Association concluded that the Park’s future success would be maximized by nurturing the growth and agglomeration of competitive, tradeable industries.

Among other projects, we’ve also joined forces with the Suffolk County IDA and the Long Island Regional Planning Council to advocate for creation of a new, regional workforce development center, possibly situated within the LI-IPH. The center would match its training curricula to the specific workforce needs of our region’s fastest-growing businesses.

The public sector and the private sector need to work cooperatively to help maintain the strength of our local economy. Along these lines, HIA-LI is proud of the successful, long-term partnership we’ve enjoyed with the Suffolk County IDA.

Under the leadership of Chairperson Natalie Wright and Executive Director Anthony Catapano, the Suffolk IDA has been a steadfast partner in promoting job growth and business growth on Long Island. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the unwavering efforts of the Suffolk IDA’s Deputy Executive Director Kelly Morris and former Associate Director John McNally who, with their hard work and dedication, helped to make it all happen.

I hope you’ll stand with me in applauding the Suffolk IDA on its many accomplishments. We look forward to working with them on future joint initiatives.

Federal Funds Needed to Stimulate Economy and Close Covid-19 Counties Budget Gap

With great enthusiasm, HIA-LI has supported and thanked the thousands of valiant healthcare workers who do so much to maintain our health. But, as a business organization, our primary focus is on the pandemic’s economic impact.

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE text with notepad, keyboard, decorative vase, fountain pen, calculator and banknotes currency on wooden background

The COVID-19 pandemic pulls at Long Islanders in two major ways: it affects our health, and it affects our economy.

That’s why we need the federal government to step up – to be a true partner in our economic recovery. Here’s how Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone describes the potential economic impact:

“It’s the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane striking us here. Except, in this case, the hurricane stays for months, instead of passing in 24 hours.”

He was characterizing the concerning data found in an economic analysis titled “2020 Nassau + Suffolk Covid-19 Economic Impact” co-sponsored by the Nassau County IDA and Suffolk County IDA with input from HIA-LI, Hofstra University, and the Association for a Better Long Island. It was written by the strategic advisory firm, HR&A.

The report concluded that Long Island could lose up to 28 percent of our region’s jobs by year’s end because of the coronavirus and subsequent economic shutdown.

As Newsday reported, “the estimated net loss of up to 375,000 jobs stems from businesses never reopening, and from many of those that do reopen not being able to recall all the workers…laid off or furloughed.”

And that’s why HIA-LI has joined forces with Mr. Bellone, his Nassau County counterpart, Laura Curran, and other influential business leaders to call upon our federal representatives to request $2 billion in direct funding to Nassau and Suffolk counties in the next federal relief bill.

With severe losses in tax revenues associated with the spread of COVID-19, the two counties together face a near $3 billion budget gap. That’s just a fraction of the $61 billion dip in economic business activity the report cites.

For Long Island businesses to stay strong and continue to work hard to reshape and reinvent our organizations, local government needs to have the resources to continue to support our efforts.

The business sector knows that many vital services depend upon our economic health. Sales taxes, for example, fund first responders, police officers, and public health nurses. Hotel taxes help fund our tourism promotion agency, Discover Long Island, an essential player in our region’s economic recovery. Only by working together – hand-in-hand with fiscally stable and strong county governments – can we position ourselves for a true recovery.

HIA-LI urges you to contact your Senators and House Members right away. Tell them that Nassau and Suffolk counties need federal disaster assistance in order to help the business community recover from this pandemic.

Name

Phone

Send a Message

Sen. Charles Schumer

(202) 224-6542

https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

(202) 224-4451

https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/email-me

Rep. Lee Zeldin

(202) 225-3826

https://zeldin.house.gov/contact/

Rep. Peter King

(202) 225-7896

https://peteking.house.gov/contact

Rep. Thomas Suozzi

(202) 225-3335

https://suozzi.house.gov/contact

Rep. Kathleen Rice

(202) 225-5516

https://kathleenrice.house.gov/contact

Rep. Gregory Meeks

(202) 225-3461

https://meeks.house.gov/contact

Businesses Battle to Beat COVID-19

Goodbye COVID-19 - CopyThe Long Island business community – many of them HIA-LI members – have rapidly mobilized to help the region fortify its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. As a leading voice in the bi-county business community, we’d like to highlight sixteen companies that have acted rapidly to reformat their operations to address the Coronavirus crisis.

This is not meant to be a complete list; we know dozens more companies have pivoted their operations to produce PPE, medical equipment, and other essential items such as hand sanitizer.  They are all heroes in the fight to defeat COVID-19.

Four of the companies we’d like to spotlight are:

  • East/West Industries, Inc., is an engineering firm in Ronkonkoma that makes aircraft products designed to protect aircrew members. The company modified its operations to produce washable, cloth face masks suitable for use by the Suffolk County Police Department and other first responders.
  • Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc., a leader in the development, manufacture, and commercialization of diagnostic solutions based in Hauppauge, is developing a COVID-19 antibody blood test that was approved by the FDA.
  • 71 Visuals, a branding, design consulting and graphic design firm, pivoted its manufacturing facility in Hauppauge, which normally produces signage, to turn out thousands of face shields daily.
  • Harlan Health Products, Inc., a manufacturer of healthcare products, has modified a factory that normally makes hospital curtains. It now produces washable, cloth face masks.

Our regional business sector is rising to the challenge posed by COVID-19.  These companies are among the many HIA-LI members that are inspiring us all by standing up to protect the health and safety of Long Islanders.

In addition to the four cited above, here are twelve additional companies that have reformatted their operations to help Long Island address COVID-19:

  • BridgeTech LLC, a product development firm located in Huntington Station.
  • Henry Schein, Inc. of Melville, an international distributor of healthcare products.
  • Ignite LI, a regional manufacturing consortium based in Hauppauge.
  • Meglio Corp. a Brentwood-based environment development company specializing in architectural products and design.
  • Restoration 1 of LI, a water damage restoration company with locations in Long Beach, Lindenhurst, and Water Mill.

During the COVID-19 crisis, HIA-LI is serving as a clearinghouse for Coronavirus-related business assistance information for its members, and has partnered with numerous governmental, institutional, and private entities that focus on alleviating the pandemic’s impact on the region.

Despite Slip, AVZ Survey Says Long Island Economy Is Still Strong

AVZ Economic Summit
Moderator Robert Quarte, Managing Partner, AVZ & Company, P.C., and panelists, from left: Jim Coughlan, Principal, TRITEC Real Estate Co., Inc.; Janine Logan, Sr. Director, Communications & Population Health, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council; Rich Humann, President and CEO, H2M Architects + Engineers; Dr. John Nader, President, Farmingdale State College; and, Kevin O’Connor, President and CEO, BNB Bank.

Long Island business executives feel optimistic about the region’s economic future, as we explored at HIA-LI’s 26th Annual Economic Summit on February 12 at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. HIA-LI sees this event as critical to helping our members interpret what’s going on here on Long Island.

Based on the annual survey conducted by AVZ & Company, one of Long Island’s largest accounting firms, confidence in the regional economy – which reached a survey record high of 7.2 in 2018 – stood at a healthy 6.8 by the end of 2019. Yet forty-six percent of respondents added employees last year, and 43 percent had “no problem” finding skilled workers.

With AVZ managing partner Bob Quarte keeping the discussion lively and interesting in his role as moderator, a five-member panel sustained the attention of over 250 guests as they delved into issues shaping our region’s economic future.

Jim Coughlan, principal of TRITEC Real Estate, praised IDAs for their powerful contributions to the success of large business development projects. But if State lawmakers begin requiring IDA-supported projects to pay “prevailing wages,” he cautioned, IDAs would lose much of their ability to promote growth.

Rich Humann, president and CEO of H2M Architects + Engineers, praised HIA-LI’s work in building bridges between the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) and regional universities.

Looking big picture, Kevin O’Connor, president and CEO of BNB Bank, said there’s been an evolution in deal structures over the past fifteen years that should lessen the incidence of “crash and burn” economic cycles.

Janine Logan, Senior Director for Communications and Population Health with the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, seemed unsurprised that the AVZ survey had ranked healthcare as the regional industry with the greatest growth potential.

Why? Well, nearly one-fifth of our population is age 65 or older, she said, and the top, predisposing factor for chronic disease is age.

Dr. John Nader, president of Farmingdale State College, told attendees that many people burdened with college debt had never received diplomas. Instead of two- or four-year degrees, he said that many jobs now call only for “micro-credentials” and certifications. That’s something for us to keep in mind as we develop a proposed LI-IPH workforce development center.

This year’s Economic Summit was stimulating and upbeat and once again served as a very important discussion on the pulse and future trends on Long Island.

Bi-Partisan Public-Private Cooperation Propels Long Island’s Economic Growth

2019 Leg Recep Collage

On October 29th the HIA-LI once again gathered for our Annual Board Legislative Breakfast with the goal of reviewing our current initiatives and asking for continued support from our officials.

“Long Island is not only a national treasure, but we’re also a national model for how business and government should partner.”

When HIA-LI Chair Joe Campolo said this to the gathering his words rang true for me – and I think for just about every business executive and government official in the room.

Yes, there’s always going to be some disagreement between public officials and businesspeople. We won’t always see eye-to-eye.

But in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the relationship has been supported by a spirit of cooperation. Indeed, our own Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) could never have become America’s second-largest innovation park – trailing only Silicon Valley itself – without the kind of cooperation we are talking about.

We were privileged to be joined by Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and Councilman Tom Lohmann; Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter; Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory; Suffolk County Legislators Robert Calarco, Sarah Anker, Bill Lindsay, Susan Berland and Rob Trotta; State Senator John Flanagan; State Assembly Members Michael Fitzpatrick and Steve Stern; and Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri. Their presence helped to reinforce the symbiosis shared by the private and public sectors on Long Island.

All of LI-IPH’s past milestones – the childcare center, extra police protection, the exit off the Northern State Parkway, sewage improvements, and increases in permissible building height – required bi-partisan public sector cooperation.

Joe Campolo – Managing Partner at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP – praised the Suffolk County IDA for helping scores of our members firms expand – and for underwriting the LI-IPH’s 160-page “Opportunity Analysis” that charts a long-term economic revitalization strategy by fostering the growth of competitive, tradeable industries.

Rita DiStefano, HR Consulting Director with Portnoy Messinger Pearl & Associates – who chairs HIA-LI’s Small Business Task Force – told attendees that she recognizes government’s role in supporting small firms, which constitute four-fifths of our membership. Public sector engagement is critical in such areas as financial assistance for business, and workforce training and development.

And Scott Maskin – the CEO of SUNation and Co-Chair of HIA-LI’s Hauppauge Industrial Power Project with HIA-LI Lifetime Board Member Jack Kulka told attendees about the goal of placing solar installations on park rooftops by the end of 2020, helping to meet the Governor’s NY-SUN target of 100 percent renewables by 2040.

HIA-LI proudly facilitates public-private cooperation at all levels with the help of HIA-LI Board Members carrying out our initiatives. It’s a partnership that’s essential to Long Island’s future.

Tune Into HIA-LI “Live” This Thursday

Alessi@TSN
Terri Alessi-Miceli, President and CEO of HIA-LI, on the set of the Streamcast Network with Cliff Sobel in a Facebook Live program produced earlier this year.

Here’s a way you can get involved in HIA-LI without leaving the comfort of your desk.

This Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 11:00am, HIA-LI – in collaboration with The Streamcast Network – will be hosting an interactive livestream panel on Facebook and on our website’s home page.

Joining me on the panel will be Joe Campolo, Chair, HIA-LI and Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP; Kelly Morris, Deputy Executive Director, Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency; Hon. Ed Wehrheim, Supervisor, Town of Smithtown (tentative); and Yuxiang Luo, Director, James Lima Planning + Development (JLP+D), who will be joining us remotely from New York City.  JLP+D is the firm that developed the “opportunity analysis” that is now serving as a blueprint for growth of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge.

This initiative is part of an overall effort to reach out to the Long Island business community and beyond.  Just two weeks ago we launched an initiative – funded in part with a grant from the National Grid Cooperative Business Recruitment Program – to promote the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge to the Greater New York City metropolitan area.  We are currently running TV commercials, radio spots, and sending blast emails to CEOs and decision makers in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the Lower Hudson Valley.

We are grateful to Cliff Sobel, Founder and Executive Producer of The Streamcast Network – with studios in East Northport – for partnering with us and providing this unique opportunity.  You can learn more about them at http://streamcastnetwork.com.

So, please tune-in at 11:00am this Thursday, October 17 by going to:

And please bring your questions and comments.  Viewers on Facebook will be able to participate interactively by asking questions and providing comments directly to panelists by typing into Facebook’s “Write a Comment” section.

National Grid Grant to HIA-LI Will Boost Business Attraction

Business associatinational-gridons must always be looking inward and outward.

On the internal side of the equation, our organization’s leadership needs to heed HIA-LI members, focus on your needs, and be responsive.

HIA-LI’s leadership must always look externally, too. And when it comes to our relationship with those outside of the organization, our number-one goal is to transform outsiders of all kinds into insiders, especially when it comes to the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH), formerly known as the Hauppauge Industrial Park.

It’s great when a company comes into the LI-IPH from elsewhere in Nassau or Suffolk counties. But few things deliver more benefit to Long Island than to attract an out-of-region company to the Park.

Under chairman Joe Campolo’s guidance, HIA-LI works hard on business attraction. And now, our outreach program has received a substantial shot in the arm.

National Grid, the regional natural gas provider, has provided a matching grant of $24,750 to help HIA-LI attract businesses to the LI-IPH. Combined with HIA-LI’s match, the overall marketing program will be valued at $49,500.

The grant comes from National Grid’s Cooperative Business Recruitment Program, which offers matching funds for marketing initiatives like this one. This campaign will market the LI-IPH to business audiences in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the Lower Hudson Valley.

We’ll advertise on cable TV, place promotions on news-radio stations, and conduct public relations outreach to metro area business publications. HIA-LI will also send blast emails to 60,000 CEOs and business decision makers in the New York metropolitan area.

HIA-LI will reinforce the message that the LI-IPH ranks second in size as an industrial park only to Silicon Valley in California. We’ll tell business leaders that we generate some $13 billion in annual output – and that we’re ready for expansion.

“Long Island is a great spot to live, work, and play,” said Keith Rooney, National Grid’s Director of Customer and Community Management, in announcing the award. “The Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge is a premier spot for businesses to succeed,”

HIA-LI is grateful to National Grid for this grant, and we’ll put it to very good use. Just like National Grid, we want Long Island to achieve its full economic potential.

New Workforce Training Center Takes a Big Stride Forward

Group shot at LIRPC.
At the July 11, 2019 LIRPC meeting, from left: Richard V. Guardino, Executive Director, Long Island Regional Planning Council; Joe Campolo, Board Chair, HIA-LI, and Managing Partner, Campolo Middleton & McCormick, LLP;  Carol A. Allen, Second Vice Chair, HIA-LI, and President & CEO, People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union; Terri Alessi-Miceli, President & CEO, HIA-LI; Kelly Morris, Deputy Executive Director, Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency; and, John D. Cameron, Jr., P.E., Chair, Long Island Regional Planning Council, and Managing Partner, Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP.

Let’s overcome two big challenges at the same time:

First, Long Island obviously needs our most promising companies and business sectors to grow and thrive here.

And second, equally obvious, is that our region needs our most talented, young workers to stay here, build their careers here, and raise their families here.

So, what if a single strategic initiative were able to take on both of these challenges at the same time?

What if we could create a new competitive asset that would function along the lines of a skills “matchmaker” at a strategic level? This entity would view Long Island’s talent needs through a supply-and-demand lens. It would align the skills of our regional workforce with the specific capabilities demanded by our most-promising companies.

Everyone would win.

Well, the good news is that such a facility is now taking shape right here at the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge, until recently known as the Hauppauge Industrial Park.

As part of a strategic initiative spearheaded by HIA-LI, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) has just signed a consulting contract advancing development of a new workforce training center – to be located right here.

Under the contract, New York City-based James Lima Planning + Development (JLP+D) will implement some initial steps to facilitate the launch of such a facility.

JLP+D will analyze industry categories and ecosystems, and match them against regional demographic trends. They’ll produce a “skills gap” analysis that will help shape the future center’s curriculum, its organizational and physical structure, and an action timeline.

The Lima team will also examine ways to unify the energies of government agencies, business organizations, and academic institutions to help ensure that the new center achieves its vital mission.

JLP+D is superbly qualified for such an assignment. Last April, they worked together with HIA-LI, the Regional Plan Association, and the Suffolk IDA to complete a comprehensive, 160-page “opportunity analysis” setting forth a strategy for maximizing our Park’s potential as a regional economic powerhouse.

LIRPC Chairman John Cameron, its Executive Director Richard Guardino, Suffolk IDA Chair Theresa Ward, IDA Deputy Executive Director Kelly Morris, and HIA-LI Chair Joe Campolo all deserve credit for their leadership on this important workforce initiative.

The new training center is destined to deliver benefits to our members and to Long Island as a whole for decades to come. Let’s all do everything we can to make it a success.

The Largest Industrial Park in the Northeast Has a New Name – and a Strategy for Long-Term Growth

HIP press conference 4 24 2019 group shot
From left: Jack Kulka, Lifetime Board Member, HIA-LI; Joe Campolo, Board Chair, HIA-LI; Hon. Ed Wehrheim, Smithtown Supervisor; Hon. Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive; Hon. Angie Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor; Terri Alessi-Miceli, President & CEO, HIA-LI; Kelly Morris, Deputy Executive Director, Suffolk IDA; and, James Lima, President, James Lima Planning + Development.

It’s hard enough figuring out how to grow our businesses and organizations over the next, say, six months . . . or year . . . or even two years.

So, how do we chart a course for growth over the next decade? Or two decades?

Well, we now have clear and specific answers.

First, based on feedback from park occupants, our government partners and our future workforce, we are changing the name of the Hauppauge Industrial Park.

Its new name is the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge with the tagline: “Where Business Meets Innovation.”

As the largest business park in the Northeast, we’re already the unrivaled cornerstone of the Suffolk County economy. This Park is home to 55,000 employees – and our $13 billion of annual output accounts for eight percent of Long Island’s Gross Domestic Product.

Our proven capacity for innovation will be the key to decades of new growth, so innovation is now our middle name.

And what is our blueprint for decades of expansion?

Last year, we assembled the talents of Stony Brook University, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, and the Regional Plan Association to compile a comprehensive inventory of the park’s assets.

The Suffolk IDA then brought in James Lima Planning + Development to match up our assets against the anticipated demands of tomorrow’s regional and national economy.

The result: a 167-page report that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone called a “comprehensive roadmap” that spells out “the building blocks needed to strengthen, expand and attract key industry clusters that will push our innovative economy to the next level.”

The analysis found that we held a big advantage over the rest of Long Island through our powerful contingent of “tradeable” business. “Tradeable” commerce involves goods and services exportable to other locations — and not consumed solely by local markets.

This is a hard-core metric of regional economic development value because it measures an asset’s capacity to serve, in essence, as a “dollar magnet” – and to attract outside wealth into the area.

The Island-wide ratio of “tradeable” business runs only 23 percent, contrasted with a national rate of 36 percent.

But the figure for Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge stands at an impressive 58 percent, over 20 percent higher than the national average.

That’s a platform worth building upon, and one that is destined to elevate the Park’s status as a regional business driver.

The report pinpointed five essential, high-level economic development strategies for the Park to grow and influence the entire Long Island economy:

First, facilitate business growth. Second, strengthen training and workforce development. Third, attract and retain knowledge workers. Fourth, promote innovation and technology transfer. And fifth, fortify connections among business, government and institutions.

“This reimagining of the Park,” says Suffolk IDA chair Theresa Ward, “gets everyone involved in economic development in this region excited because the potential is so real and obtainable.”

With this insightful, five-part game plan in hand, Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge is today equipped to fulfill a growth scenario that will redouble its contributions to our regional economy.

Ambitious? Yes.

And do we have the assets – and the will – to pull it off?

Absolutely!