Voices

Focused ‘placemaking’ would fill LI’s work/life needs

By PHIL RUGILE // Anyone who follows initiatives like downtown revitalization has likely come across the term “placemaking.” This refers to spaces created for specific purposes, usually capitalizing on a local community’s assets and potential. In practical terms, it means we can create places that attract millennials, spaces that address work/life issues, options that are compelling to transit-oriented commuters, whatever we might need. The concept absolutely applies to business incubators and co-working spaces. Urban areas…


In apple cider, a hard life with sweet rewards

By AMBROSE CLANCY // You know cider, right? That’s the stuff in plastic jugs you buy at a supermarket or a roadside stand out east when the leaves begin turning in October. When you’re home, you take a taste and begin wondering how to spell “hyperglycemia” so you can immediately Google it. It goes in the refrigerator, and before Thanksgiving has turned cloudy and vile. Right? No, you don’t know anything about cider. Americans are…


Giving the LI innovation economy plenty of STEAM

By ROSALIE DRAGO // Employers in technical trades lament the loss of “shop” class and its hands-on maker skills. Business owners complain that candidates possess minimal work experience. But there is tremendous work-readiness power in STEAM – enough to fuel a 21st century workforce. Beginning in elementary school, education institutions are using STEAM (for science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to contextualize core classroom subjects in a way that aligns with skills required by the…


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….