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!