Suffolk Community College Hosts Long Island Regional Economic Development Council


By Alexander Corrigan

Pictured left to right: Stuart Rabinowitz President of Hofstra University, John R. Durso President of Long Island Federation of Labor, Owen H. Johnson Senator R- Babylon, Kevin Law President of Long Island Association

Tuesday Sept 13 Suffolk Community College played host to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council on the Eastern Campus in Riverhead. The purpose of this public meeting was to generate ideas about how to develop a strategic plan for long-term, sustainable, economic growth here on Long Island.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D- New York) launched the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council on July 27, with an aim to redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs on Long Island. Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University, and Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association will lead the Long Island Regional Council; both men will serve as Regional Co-Chairs. The Regional Council will coordinate the economic development of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Other notable members of the Council include Patricia McMahon, Vice President of Battle Management Engagement Systems Northrop Grumman. Tracey Edwards, Vice President of Operations Verizon Communications. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. MD, President Stony Brook University. Samuel Aronson, Director Brookhaven National Labs.

The Council is part of a very ambitious plan by Governor Cuomo to revitalize New York’s economy. “These councils will have the tools they need to initiate regionally tailored projects that take advantage of our state’s many resources and create jobs for New Yorkers” said Governor Cuomo, “For too long, economic development efforts have not met the needs of New York’s diverse regions, but with this new approach we will once again open New York for business.” The new approach is radically different, transitioning from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes using each region’s unique assets, harnessing local expertise, and empowering each region to set plans and priorities. The state’s current economic affairs are governed through various organizations; the Council will work at bringing together the various stakeholders and groups to create a clear response to economic development and job creation. Each region will work with representatives from local businesses and academia to focus on creating a region specific plan.

The Council has received the praise of many; including New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I, WF- Sag Harbor) and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R- Port Jefferson), both men publicly thanking Senator Quomo, especially for expediting their requests for the Council to hold a public forum for the East End of the Island. “Their willingness and quick response is greatly appreciated,” said Assemblyman Thiele.

“The East End is unique,” said Senator LaValle, “and I am gratified that the Governor recognizes the importance of the region as an economic engine.”

The first meeting of the Council was held on Wednesday Aug 10 at Stony Brook University. Since then there have been Council meetings held at Hofstra University, Suffolk Community College Eastern Campus, SUNY Old Westbury and the New York Institute of Technology.

The next meeting will be in Melville on Oct 18 at the RXR Building. The Council will be discussing what utility incentives are available to businesses, financing, avoiding bureaucratic red tape, and what technology is available and how it will help businesses grow. The RXR Building is located at 68 South Service Road in Melville. The meeting will be held in the Lower Level of the RXR Building. There is a continental breakfast that starts at 7:30 a.m. followed by the opening remarks beginning at 8:30 a.m. The meeting is open to the public, however one must register at http://www.lipower.org/commercial/ecodev.

For more information about the various Regional Council’s please visit http://www.nyopenforbusiness.com, the Long Island office can be reached at (631) 435-0717. The Governor’s Press Office can be reached at (212) 681-4640 in New York City and (518) 474-8418 in Albany, or by e-mail at press.office@exec.ny.gov.

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