The Connect Long Island Partnership is implementing an economic

By Dorothy Watkins,2014-05-16 20:20
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Category One of the SWOT Analysis, prepared by LIFT, focuses on Rapid ResponseThe LIFT SWOT Analysis utilized a novel approach to procure information.

    Connect Long Island Partnership I. Overview

    The Connect Long Island Partnership is implementing an economic transformation strategy for

    the Long Island Region. Connect Long Island began as an initiative of state and local workforce

    leaders in collaboration with the Long Island Forum for Technology, Inc. (LIFT), the Island’s

    major manufacturing industry association. The Connect Long Island Executive Committee is the

    governing body for the initiative, with LIFT serving as the project manager. The Committee

    includes representatives of the local workforce investment boards for the Town of

    Hempstead/City of Long Beach, the Town of Oyster Bay Consortium and Suffolk County, along

    with the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), the Long Island Regional Adult

    Education Network and New York State Empire State Development. The Executive Committee

    oversees workgroups that concentrate on the skills analysis, education and the workforce.

     The establishment of Connect Long Island is a result of the efforts of its founders to

    foster the collaboration, even before a dedicated funding stream was available. It gained

    structure and momentum as it was designed to fit the model of the U.S. Department of Labor’s

    Workforce Innovation through Regional Economic Development” or “WIRED” initiative. Although it was not selected for WIRED funding, the momentum of Connect Long Island moved

    forward as its partners were convened in a major symposium in June of 2007. Its momentum

    continued and the structure of its foundation was solidified with the award of funding under the

    NYSDOL Regional Economic Transformation Strategies through a Sector or Cluster-

    Based Approach (Request for Proposals Number 13N). This funding was awarded in response to a collaborative proposal, led by the Connect Long Island Executive Committee and

    submitted by LIFT to NYSDOL. The grant was awarded to LIFT, in the amount of $1.6 million,

    thus creating a significant source of revenue, through which the three local workforce investment

    areas of the region conducted strategic planning and sector-based training.

     The Connect Long Island strategy focuses on attracting, developing and retaining

    workforce talent for Long Island’s largest and fastest growing industries. After its initial

    implementation, several years ago, it is now driving Long Island’s regional economic transformation by aligning the services of multiple organizations. The result is higher quality

    services for employers, jobseekers and incumbent workers throughout the region. These services

    include the capacity to provide skills training to an additional 1,000 individuals (to date), above

    existing funding resources, through a regionally centralized process.

     The success of the NYSDOL 13N Transformation Grant led to the award of a Regional

    Innovation Grant (RIG) by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Long Island Regional

    Innovation Grant (LIRIG) Project was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to the Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources (DOOR), on behalf of

    the Connect Long Island Partnership. The purpose of the LIRIG Project was to enhance our

    regional economic transformation strategy by creating a Strategic Regional Implementation

    Plan to convert dislocated workers into skilled workers in our talent pipeline. The Plan was

    composed after conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats or “SWOT” Analysis in two categories. Category One of the SWOT Analysis, prepared by LIFT, focuses on

    Rapid Response and Business Retention. The LIFT SWOT Analysis utilized a novel approach to

    procure information. The approach employed facilitated emergency management “table top”

    exercises, involving key stakeholders, including members of the LIRIG Innovation Workgroup,

    along with service providers involved in Rapid Response and Business Retention. Category Two,

    prepared by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), in association with the Scott Skodnek

    Business Development Center of Hofstra University, focuses on Entrepreneurship, which is a

    pathway to reemployment whose potential is often not fully appreciated in the context of

    regional transformation efforts.


     The CGR/Hofstra team implemented a creative mix of surveys, research and information

    interviews to complete this portion of the SWOT Analysis. The recommendations of both

    SWOT teams are incorporated into the Implementation Plan. The Plan describes a process to

    communicate the details of dislocation events to stakeholders beyond the Rapid Response system,

    categorize worker skills, crosswalk those skills with industry occupational data, and create a

    transparent web-based skills data base. It was designed by DOOR, LIFT, CGR, Hofstra

    University, the Long Island LWIBs, NYSDOL and the other key stakeholders who participate on

    our Innovation Workgroup, along with the Connect Long Island Executive Committee.

    The LIRIG Project is closely aligned with 13N. Both the LIRIG and the 13N Projects

    supported our overarching transformation strategy. The purpose of the RIG Regional Strategic

    Implementation Plan is to create a regional strategic planning process to equip dislocated

    workers with the information and skills needed to navigate emerging career pathways in

    transformative industry sectors. Strategies contained in the Plan will also benefit economically

    disadvantaged adults, youth, veterans, individuals with disabilities, older workers and other

    underutilized workers. The Plan and a summary are available at:

    Through the implementation of the Plan we hope to realize the following vision:


    We envision a regional economic transformation on Long Island that will be achieved through the efficient leveraging of the Connect Long Island Partnership to create and


    ? A sturdy foundation for innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ? Business and industry growth and prosperity

    ? A highly talented workforce that engages all workers to their fullest potential ? Education and training curricula that meet the demands of evolving career pathways ? Wages that are commensurate with the local standard of living and that support a high

    quality of life

    ? A cost effective, attractive, environmentally friendly healthy place for workers to

    advance in their careers, raise families and contribute to our future


II. Outcomes and Promising Practices

    The following are outcomes and promising practices achieved by the Connect Long Island to


    ? Trained 1,000 incumbent workers and unemployed individuals

    ? Established a Regional Strategic Implementation Plan to help satisfy industry skill

    demands with dislocated and underutilized workers

    ? Established annual regional meeting of the three Long Island Workforce Investment


    ? Implemented an Industry Skills Demand Survey ? Implemented a Worker Skills Supply Survey at regional rapid response events ? Cross-referenced worker skills supply survey data with industry demand data

    ? Applied mapping technology to identify industry locations and worker skill clusters (For a

    demonstration, visit ? Applied emergency management principles and techniques to evaluate and improve our

    rapid response process

    ? Posted a Dislocation Event Log on-line for strategic planning

    ? Conducted analysis and planning to develop a significant portion of our talent pipeline

    through entrepreneurial training

    ? Enhanced our regional leadership and collaboration, evidenced by our success in forming

    grant project consortia and in accessing grant funds for the benefit of the region

    ? Positioned Long Island to react quickly and effectively to opportunities for innovation

    created by the Recovery Act

    ? Identified technology options that will support transformation activities

    ? Developed the Green and Lean and YouthLink Projects (Funded under New York State

    Department of Labor Grants)


    ? Implemented new curricula for Summer Youth Employment and Training Programs,

    developed by Paxen Learning Corporation, including: From STEM to Stern Long

    Island’s Future and Green Jobs in the Economy


III. Leveraged Resources

    Grant funding and leveraged resources are continually pursued to sustain the Connect

    Long Island transformation strategy. For example, applications for the following grants have

    been submitted by on behalf of the region:

    ? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/New York State Office of Mental

    Health Medicaid Infrastructure Grant

    ? NYSDOL RFP for Emerging and Transitional Worker Training Bid #: Q-37)

    ? NYSDOL RFP for Disconnected Youth Training Bid # 46-Q

    ? USDOL American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Solicitation for Energy

    Partnership Grants, Funding - # SGA/DFA PY 08-18

    ? USDOL ARRA of 2009 Solicitation for Health Care Sector Grants, Funding #

    SGA/DFA PY 08-18


    USustainability IV.

    The Regional Strategic Transformation Plan developed under our RIG is the blueprint for

    sustaining the Connect Long Island Partnership. The Executive Committee is approaching all projects involving the stakeholders as part of this transformation effort. Major regional assets will be leveraged to ensure timely implementation. Social networking efforts will be undertaken on an on-going basis by the Executive Committee to ensure all regional stakeholders are engaged. This social networking will ensure that all stakeholder groups are at the discussion table and that new stakeholder groups are continually added, based on regional data analysis. The commitment of the Connect Long Island partners will consist, not only of time and the sharing of ideas, but also of leveraging resources. Grant funding, awarded under 13-N and RIG, is merely seed money that represents a small fraction of the total assets needed to revitalize Long Island’s massive economy. This means that true commitment to the Connect Long Island Partnership will require the partners to continue to invest their resources in a concerted effort to achieve the transformation that Long Islanders envision and deserve.


V. Alignment of Resources

    The Table below indicates some of the resources that are aligned throughout our region through

    the Connect Long Island initiative.

    WIA Title I:

    (1) Adults and Dislocated Workers

    (2) Youth

    (3) Job Corps

    (4) Native American Programs

    (5) Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker

    (6) Veterans' Workforce Programs

    Wagner-Peyser Act

    Trade Adjustment Assistance and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Transitional

    Adjustment Assistance

    Activities Authorized under Chapter 41 of Title 38 Local Veterans Employment Representatives

    and Disabled Veterans Outreach Programs

    Programs Authorized under State Unemployment Compensation Laws WIA Title II Adult Education and Literacy Act

    Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Title V of the Older Americans Act

    Post Secondary Vocational Education Activities Authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational

    and Applied Technology Education Act

    Employment and Training Activities under the Community Services Block Grant Employment and Training Activities Conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

    TANF Programs Authorized under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act Employment and Training Programs Authorized under Section 6(d)(4) of the Food Stamp Act of


    Work Programs Authorized under Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 Programs authorized under the National and Community Service Act YouthBuild

    Other Appropriate Programs, including Programs Relating to Transportation and Housing, Etc. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Under 13N, courses of study provided by colleges and universities were selected and aligned

    with industry demands and worker skill gaps. In addition, grant funds accessed through some of

    the sources identified above, are being applied to maintain continuity in the region’s transformation process. Through coordination with the workforce system, economic

    development, education and organized labor, enhanced alignment is anticipated.


VI. Business Engagement

     Serving in the role of Connect Long Island Project Manager, LIFT is a non-for-profit economic development organization working with the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The organization serves as NYSTAR?’s

    designated Regional Technology Development Center for Long Island and one of nearly 350 MEP locations across the country. LIFT partners with local companies, organizations, universities and the national laboratory systems. Most recently LIFT opened its Applied Science Center of Innovation and Excellence in Homeland Security. With its large membership and extensive networking capacity, LIFT provides an invaluable connection to the business community. This connection is utilized to access research data, such as industry skill demands, to convene joint strategic planning sessions and to implement workforce training. As an industry association, LIFT leverages its credibility with a variety of businesses and industries to engage business in the work of Connect Long Island. Businesses are also engaged through the participation of other organizations in the partnership, such as the Alliance for Diversification in Peacetime Transition, Inc. (ADDAPT), the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, etc.

     Connect Long Island initially engaged the industry sector s of Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology because these sectors were considered to offer the greatest opportunities for economic transformation across the broadest array of industry clusters. Research conducted by LIFT under the 13N grant identified industry skill demand from the following clusters within these major sectors: Biotech; Defense/Aerospace/Homeland Security; Energy; Food; Health care; Medical Device; Pharma; Arts/Computer graphics; Test and Measurement; Software.


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