Voices

To ensure college success, level the HS academic field

By HARRY AURORA // Education is the cornerstone of success, a college degree is paramount and K-12 schools are committed to doing everything possible to help students excel at the college level. It appears to be working: National high school graduation rates are among the highest they’ve ever been. But accommodating for the wide range of variables that exist for every individual student is never easy, and requires significant resources that may not be available…


To keep talent coming, tech must fill its own pipeline

By PHIL RUGILE // Workforce development in tech? Not as easy as it sounds. My workforce muse, Rosalie Drago, has in this very column touched on the concept that apprenticeships belong in every industry – but in fact, they’re still viewed mainly as benefits only in trade occupations. You often hear of someone “apprenticing as a plumber.” But when talking about a software developer getting on-the-job training as a “junior” developer, the term “apprentice” would…


With jobs waiting, Island must master apprenticeships

By ROSALIE DRAGO // Apprenticeship is one of the most powerful weapons we have to advance Long Islanders, regional business and the local economy. It’s time to deploy it. At a time when many employers report a lack of skilled workers, employer-led training – which develops workplace skills based on the latest industry practices, while incorporating related classroom instruction – is being promoted and supported on federal and state levels as a fix for widening…


Books, online learning key to battling ‘summer slide’

By HARRY AURORA // Longer days, warmer weather and the approach of summer vacation excite students, but many educators and parents worry about the toll that long break from school can have on academic gains students worked hard to achieve. Dubbed the “summer slide,” the time spent away from the classroom can be especially hard on students in lower socioeconomic areas that lack the same opportunities as their wealthier counterparts (access to private tutors, summer…


For LI entrepreneurs, a bevy of biz-building resources

By PHIL RUGILE // I’ve talked a lot about how startups can utilize physical spaces and how, as region, we need more centers for innovation. But meanwhile, we already have dozens of startups popping up every month – and they won’t necessarily wait around for the right space or support. If there’s no easy way to find what they need, they’ll go somewhere they think can assist them. In our case, that typically means a…


Vehicle of change: licensing undocumented residents

By JEFF GUILLOT // The face of our region is changing, both politically and socioeconomically, and it’s time we had some tough conversations. So, let’s get right to it: Long Island lawmakers and stakeholders should embrace state legislation that allows undocumented people to obtains driver’s licenses. Let’s throw the morality and racial politics out of the conversation – our region has dealt with enough of that. I could wax poetic about fundamental fairness and social…


Diverse opinions fuel C3E Women in Energy event

By ROSALIE DRAGO // In any industry, “diversity” means intentionally incorporating views and perspectives different from our own – an essential practice for both personal and professional innovation and advancement. We all know it’s easier and faster to move something forward with someone who agrees with us. It doesn’t mean you get the best outcome, though. It can be uncomfortable, to have your voice heard and to listen to that “other” voice, and difficult to…


Answers are closer than you think for rural schools

By HARRY AURORA // The value of an education cannot be overstated, but not all schools are able to provide students with opportunities to reach their full potential. Serving nearly 20 percent of the country’s K-12 student population, rural schools face particular hardships, with budgets, transportation, staffing, healthcare and distance from students’ homes being of particular concern. Fortunately, technology can greatly impact access to education, allowing students facing the challenges of the rural education system…


Par excellence: The niche deserve their own COEs, too

By PHIL RUGILE // It’s a mouthful, but stay with me: The New York State Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (thankfully simplified to NYSTAR) is housed within NYS’s Empire State Development Corp. (blessedly known as ESD). This is important, because NYSTAR is the funding mechanism (to the tune of $55 million) for 13 major Centers of Excellence throughout the state – venerable institutions doing grand research and development, with impressive names like the Center…


Albany changed NYS voting laws, and maybe LI’s future

By JEFF GUILLOT // Recent reforms in the way we conduct elections can help increase voter turnout on Long Island, change the scope of our elections and significantly affect the future of our region. Let’s not mince words here: The Republicans got hammered in the 2018 midterms here in New York. I disagree with many pundits who assert that this was a generationally massive rebuke of a sitting president, because there have been plenty of…


When it comes to ELL, everyone must learn the lingo

By HARRY AURORA // The makeup of the nation’s student body has changed dramatically over the past few decades. One of the most striking changes is that English Language Learners, students who must learn English in addition to typical American academic studies, now account for nearly one out of every 10 students. Educators and administrators are tasked with helping ELL students succeed in academic, social and emotional learning – and language barriers can make this…


From shadowing to Lego Night, careers start in school

By ROSALIE DRAGO // One of the most important business relationships an employer can invest in is the school-business partnership. Urgency in filling immediate and near-term jobs is an obvious priority. Advancing career awareness and skills development among the emerging workforce – those just entering the pipeline for future hiring – is just as critical. In junior year of high school, we ask students what they think they might want to do for a living….


For homebound-ed answers, ask the right questions

By HARRY AURORA // The distressing fact about American education is that the deck is stacked against many children before they open their first textbook. Much of the nation’s attention, as it relates to solving inequities in public education, is focused on whole school districts. But what about individual students for whom attending a traditional school is simply not possible? Whether it’s a student with disabilities or social/emotional issues, someone dealing with a family crisis…


Yes, there is life after HQ2 – if we’re smart about it

By PHIL RUGILE // With the Amazon pullout from Queens, politicians and businesspeople are apoplectic about our future. Well, hold on – when life throws you lemons, time to make lemonade. Maybe with vodka. The reality is, we are still in growth mode and we need innovation spaces more than ever. Labor Department data shows an overall increase in jobs, though many business owners will tell you finding talent is their biggest growth challenge –…


In this ‘Green Mile,’ the Island has a healthy head start

By JEFF GUILLOT // It’s been roundly embraced by progressive presidential candidates and panned by conservatives as a pipe dream dripping with bongwater. But regardless of your position on the package of legislative initiatives collectively known as the Green New Deal, Long Island’s longstanding commitment to environmental protection could put us in a unique position to reap the benefits of this dialogue. Regardless of whether or not this idea ever finds its way to the…