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.

Rooftops Provide Solar Opportunities

town hall pic solar me joe and scott (3)
Pictured at a recent HIA-LI Solar Initiative Town Hall Meeting are, from left: Scott Maskin, President, SUNation Solar Systems, and HIA-LI Solar Initiative Co-Chair; Terri Alessi-Miceli, President & CEO, HIA-LI, and Joe Campolo, Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, and HIA-LI Board Chair.

What do you do when you have 20 million square feet of unused rooftops?

Go solar!

And why not?

  • There would be no negative environmental impact from trees having to be cut.
  • It would supply low-cost electricity for HIP businesses as well as to low and moderate income residential customers.
  • It would generate 50-100 construction jobs created during the build-out period as well as $40 million in total construction revenue.
  • And it would produce an estimated $4 million in annual payments to building owners in the Park.

That’s why HIA-LI’s Energy, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee formed the HIP Solar Initiative.  This cooperative initiative will provide economies of scale previously unattainable and going solar will allow building owners to take advantage of substantial economic benefits.

As stated by Lifetime Board Member Jack Kulka, Chair of HIA-LI Energy, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee, “The HIP Solar Initiative provides the unique opportunity to various businesses in the HIP to upgrade their aging roofs while concurrently installing state of the art solar systems at substantially discounted costs.”

According to Michael Voltz, Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables for PSEG Long Island, PSEG encourages businesses to consider installing solar because it’s clean, renewable energy that helps reduce energy costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuel.

“The Hauppauge Industrial Park has vast roof area and vast untapped solar potential. Through this innovative program, the HIP has the potential to become a national leader in renewable energy while keeping Long Island dollars at home, said HIA-LI Board Member Scott Maskin, CEO of SUNation Solar Systems.  “It’s exciting to play a part in fortifying the PSEG grid, while delivering economic benefits to HIP building owners, tenants, and local residential ratepayers. It’s a win-win all around.”

The project would also differentiate the HIP as a leader in distributed energy generation in the United States.  It would also help to achieve Governor Cuomo’s initiative to have 50 percent renewable energy in New York State by 2030.

This is yet another example of how HIA-LI – formed 40 years ago with a prime directive in making the HIP the finest concentrated working environment on Long Island – is always on the lookout for ways to enhance members’ opportunities to positively impact their bottom line.

Building owners interested in participating in the program can learn more here.