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