The working group will focus on meeting the current and future training needs of businesses in the Harpak Long Island Innovation Park.

Hai Yalione of Long Island’s largest business advocacy organizations, has created a workforce development task force that will focus on maximizing employee training opportunities to support employers at the Long Island Innovation Park in Harpak (LI-IPH).

As the largest business park in the Northeast, the 1,400 companies within LI-IPH employ approximately 55,000 20 Long Island jobs depend on parks, Annual economic output of $13 billion.

The task force was formed to address what is widely considered Long Island’s most significant business challenge: finding skilled workers and filling the talent pool of today and tomorrow. Its mission is to align resources to meet business needs and to find solutions for recruiting and developing the skills needed for high-demand occupations in the industrial sectors that drive Long Island’s economy.

Its approach will help connect businesses, educational institutions and workforce development organizations to attract, train and retain the park’s talent pool.

The working group will be chaired by Rich Humann, President and CEO of H2M Architects & Engineers, and Dr. Edward Bonahue, Principal of Suffolk County Community College. Both are members of the HIA-LI Board of Directors.

As an example of the type of academia-industry partnership the task force aims to foster, its organizers cite Suffolk County Community College recently launched the Solar Installer Certificate Program, a hands-on training course taught by industry experts that includes working with SuNation Solar, A solar company based in LI-IPH.

“No entity in Nassau or Suffolk can surpass Harpak’s Long Island Innovation Park in terms of job creation and economic impact,” said Carol A. Allen, president and chief executive officer Awami League Federal Credit Union and Chairman of the HIA-LI Board of Directors. “Long Island’s long-term business health depends heavily on this park. This new task force will help ensure our employers can rely on an appropriately skilled workforce.”

“As Long Island continues to recover from COVID, business owners and organizations say one of their biggest questions is access to a talent pool that fits their current and future needs,” said HIA President and CEO Terri Alessi-Miceli. -plum. “This task force will help coordinate the efforts of key private and public sector players to provide the skills training that will benefit Long Island’s economic future.”

“At Suffolk County Community College, we have taken strategic steps to align our curriculum so that our graduates will have the skills necessary to enjoy promising careers in Hauppauge’s Long Island Innovation Park and other employers’ businesses,” The working group said co-chair Dr. Edward Bonahue. “our The Solar Installer Certificate Program perfectly illustrates the kind of bespoke workforce development program this task force aims to create. “

“Today, there is a gap between businesses that need employees with certain talents and those who have the skills needed to meet those needs,” said task force co-chair Rich Humann. “Fortunately, because of HIA-LI’s close relationships with business, academia, local and state government, and workforce development organizations, it is in an excellent position to help fill this gap. We can act as a hub and help unify these key players.”

The task force will be commissioned by New York City-based James Lima Planning Consultants “LI-IPH Skills In Demand Assessment” – and conduct Stakeholder Meeting – Identifying the current and future skill sets needed by park residents post-Covid.

Funding for skillset analysis and stakeholder meetings came from Workforce Development Institute, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding workforce opportunities. $15,000 grant – with Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (Suffolk IDA) – will receive additional funding from HIA-LI and Suffolk IDA.

Assessment results will be shared with the academic community to help it better connect with the business sector and develop future plans to best prepare graduates to thrive in the future Long Island economy. The assessment will also be presented at a future HIA-LI Workforce Development Conference, attended by key business and institutional leaders from the region.

Task force organizers noted that as technology becomes more pervasive, businesses in the region need to develop talent in technical disciplines that may not exist today. Therefore, one of the task force’s primary goals is to recognize the future needs of the Long Island workforce.

Small businesses in particular may have a harder time predicting their future job skills needs, they note. HIA-LI, Suffolk IDA and James Lima Planning will work with business park tenants to help them better judge where these small companies will need to be in the future — and what skills will be needed to get them there. Future workforce development programs will be tailored to train park employees in these required skills.

“WDI works aggressively across the state to increase opportunities for all New Yorkers to succeed in the workforce while earning a living wage,” said Robyn Fellrath, WDI Long Island Regional Director. “We are proud to support the efforts of HIA-LI and Suffolk IDA to ensure that the employees of Harpak’s Long Island Innovation Park are prepared for success.”

Attracting and retaining skilled workers is one of the biggest challenges facing Long Island businesses, especially in high-demand industries such as manufacturing and trade,” Kelly Murphy, Acting Executive Director Suffolk County Development Association. “Regional employers have been experiencing Brain drain due to factors such as high cost of living and lack of affordable and attractive housing for young people. This working group will help us overcome these grand challenges. “

“The success of our region’s economy depends in large part on the Long Island Innovation Park in Harpau and the skilled workforce it attracts,” commented Joe Campolo, Chair of the HIA-LI Long Island Economic Development Task Force. “The report of the Workforce Development Task Force will strengthen our LI-IPH sustainability research and prioritize workforce development as a key strategy to ensure businesses in the park have access to the trained workforce they need to thrive. professionals and attract new companies to the region”

The task force’s work will complement the regional portion of a $350 million statewide initiative Gov. Kathy Hochul launched last year to upskill workers to match jobs employers are struggling to fill. Administered in Nassau and Suffolk counties by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Board, the statewide program was created by Empire State Development Corporation, the state’s primary economic development agency.

District Council issued a Report Partnered with Ernst & Young last November to develop a strategy for the region on a forward-looking approach to workforce development that aligns with the new task force’s agenda, noting that “aligning Long Island’s many assets and partners is key to addressing workforce issues today and future challenges.”

In 2019, Newsday and The Rauch Foundation conducted a survey showing the extent to which young workers plan to leave Long Island. Based on interviews with 1,800 people ages 18 to 34, 67 percent said they planned to leave Long Island within the next five years.

About Haili

Now in its 45th year, HIA-LI is one of Long Island’s largest business advocacy organizations. It also represents the Long Island Innovation Campus in Hauppauge, the largest industrial park in the Northeast. The park supports 55,000 jobs and produces $13 billion in goods and services annually, or 8 percent of Long Island’s GDP.For more information, please visit

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