HIA-LI’s 2019 Agenda Aims to Boost Long Island’s Competitive Status

Click the image above for a copy of our 40th Anniversary Report.

Coming off our 40th anniversary last year, the HIA-LI is looking to the future and carrying forward our momentum into 2019.

We’re working together to promote the interests of the Long Island business community – and of America’s second-largest industrial park. And we’re fueled by the knowledge that everyone benefits – our companies, our organizations, our employees, and our households – when we successfully strengthen Long Island’s regional competitiveness.

This year, HIA-LI will center much of our attention on three strategic initiatives:

First, we’ll build upon the groundbreaking work of the Hauppauge Industrial Park Task Force – chaired by Joe Campolo, Esq., of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP – which focuses on elevating the park’s economic impact.

Initiated through the collaboration of our members, along with the Suffolk County IDA, the Regional Plan Association, and Stony Brook University, HIA-LI is now working with James Lima Planning + Development to pinpoint ways to maximize the Park’s growth and competitiveness.

One component of our Task Force work will be to fortify relationships with Long Island’s educational institutions to help better meet the workforce needs of the region. We’ll also be looking at re-branding the Hauppauge Industrial Park to better reflect the pride we have in this critical economic engine.

Our second area of concentration in 2019 is the HIA-LI Solar Initiative – co-chaired by Jack Kulka of Kulka Construction Corp. and Scott Maskin of SUNation Solar Systems – which will leverage our park’s 20 million square feet of unused rooftops. Solarizing this untapped resource will reduce electricity costs, generate jobs and revenues, and help preserve our environment.

And third comes our Small Business Task Force – chaired by Rita DiStefano of Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates – which is working to enhance HIA-LI’s ability to engage with Long Island’s small business community.

Our small and mid-sized business owners have asked us to concentrate on three critical needs: The first is to find, train and retain good talent. The second is to promote business development and generate fresh revenue streams. And the third is to secure financing that facilitates business growth.

While we’re always looking to recruit new board members, this year we’ll be specifically aiming to attract young entrepreneurs to our association, to our park, and to the Long Island region’s leadership ranks.

And it makes sense to mark your calendar now for one of our seminal annual events, the HIA-LI 31st Annual Trade Show, which this year will be held on Thursday, May 30.

In 2019, let’s keep working together to elevate Long Island as one of the country’s great and vibrant economic centers.

Small Business Task Force Tackles Character

SBTF Pic
Rita DiStefano moderates the panel at HIA-LI’s November 1 Small Business Task Force Open Forum.

There were some important take-aways from last week’s Small Business Task Force Open Forum, “Hitting the Mark: Character, Competence, and Chemistry that Create Effective Culture.”

  • First, these forums are critical to educating small and mid-sized business owners – who account for 80 percent of HIA-LI members – with best practices from other companies and organizations who have gone through the growing pains that they are likely going through.
  • Second, before anything else, character is critical. You want to surround yourself with employees who have the values, work ethic, and dedication needed for success.
  • Third, when interviewing potential employees, ask questions that help bring out character. Questions such as: Where have you volunteered?  What is your life mantra?

My sincere thanks to Task Force Chair Rita DiStefano, Director of Human Resource Consulting for Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates, for another successful and well-attended forum, which was held at Simplay Entertainment.  Rita, along with Task Force members Sue Gubing, Joe Garofalo, Allan Lippolis, Elana Zolfo, and AnnMarie Scheidt put together a sterling lineup of panelists:

Because small businesses don’t often have the bandwidth and staff found at larger organizations, HIA-LI’s Small Business Task Force was created to boost engagement with Long Island’s small business community.  It does that by listening to their needs and addressing issues with concrete, proven solutions.

Since its inception the Task Force has identified three major areas that small businesses find challenging:

  1. Personnel: Finding, training, and retaining talented employees.
  2. Business Development: Creating new and innovative revenue streams.
  3. Financing: Gaining access to capital in order to have adequate funds to grow.

To address these concerns, the Small Business Task Force began holding Open Forums with the goal of providing continuous support and information for members. Previous topics have covered how to attract and retain the millennial workforce, how to create a positive and attractive work culture, how to be a leader, and more.  The Task Force will continue to support businesses, address their concerns, and find solutions.