Workforce Development Institute

No. 388: On Broadway, Barbie’s BFF and best workforce investments (mentoring, also aces for at-risk kids)

  Welcome to Wednesday: You’re halfway home, dear reader, as we hurdle the hump of another busy workweek. It’s March 13 out there, which of course makes it National Elephant Day in Thailand, marking the 1998 addition of the white elephant to that nation’s flag. (Note: Not to be confused with World Elephant Day, held in August.) Hello, dolly: Today is also Ken Day, celebrating the 1961 debut of Ken Carson – yes, Barbie’s plastic…


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 your best innovation ROI, look to the ‘regulars’

By ROSALIE DRAGO // From the technological advances of the Bronze Age to the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, innovation requires people. It follows then that the capital investment with the most innovation ROI is the investment in human capital. Businesses are eager to innovate, but more often than not this is approached with investments in departments or initiatives or a select cohort of innovation experts. Real innovation – the kind that enables us to sustain…


New York risks losing offshore wind jobs, leadership

By JOHN DURSO and ROSS GOULD // They say you need to lead, follow or get out of the way. In New York, we’ve never been good at the last two. But we are in danger to being relegated to those positions, if we don’t act affirmatively and decisively on a plan to grow our offshore wind capabilities – and, in turn, our available and high-paying jobs – on Long Island. Last week, the New…


Albany stakes $3M statewide apprenticeship effort

By GREGORY ZELLER // A chunky state investment will focus the State University of New York system on the specific needs of employers in cutting-edge fields, part of Albany’s plan to help train New York’s 21st century workforce. The state will sink $3 million into programs that put together SUNY, the NYS Department of Labor and statewide employers – specifically those in the healthcare and advanced-manufacturing industries – to create registered apprenticeships “that directly answer…


Morning of a thousand stars

(Photos by Bob Giglione) A dazzling array of sensational scientists, energetic entrepreneurs and regional rainmakers gathered April 24 for the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards. Innovate Long Island’s third-annual innovation celebration, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, honored 2018 Master of Innovation Michael Faltischek, senior partner at Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and chairman of the Long Island Angel Network. The breakfast banquet also recognized more than 40 of the…


No. 289: Einstein raps, inventors unite, LIJ expands and why flying taxis are closer than you thought

Slice of life: Welcome to March 14, dear readers, not quite the Ides of March (that’s tomorrow) but still a significant anniversary for mathematicians. The 426th, to be precise, of Ultimate Pi Day, which at precisely 6:53 a.m. on this date in 1592 marked the longest correspondence between the date and the opening digits of the infinite mathematical constant pi (3.141592653…) since the introduction of the Julian calendar. From cotton to Led: American inventor Eli…


For soaring startup Flygirl, smaller is way, way better

By GREGORY ZELLER // Entrepreneur Lisa Abbey always had a nose for the niche, but the roots of her burgeoning beauty business are colored by experience. A hair stylist with three decades of bobs, pixies and perms under her belt, all on Long Island, Abbey has also proven herself a creative risk-taker. The first two salons she opened, in 1989 and 1991, were located on the campuses of C.W. Post College (now LIU Post) and…


No. 280: A TCJA counterattack, an interstate healthcare alliance and baby, it’s cold outside (but it could be colder)

Weekend forecast: Welcome to the blessed end of another busy work week, dear readers – and speaking of endings and beginnings, happy anniversary to the National Weather Service, launched on this date (by the U.S. Army, believe it or not) 148 years ago today. The NWS likely had a field day on its 64th anniversary – Feb. 9, 1934 – when New York City, amidst a legendary arctic blast that deep-froze much of the nation,…


Debrief: Bill Lindsay III is on a manufacturing mission

Lack of skilled workers and overregulation are among the issues undercutting Long Island manufacturers. And they’re in the crosshairs of the Long Island Manufacturing Task Force, unanimously approved this month by the Suffolk County Legislature. Legislator William Lindsay III (D-Bohemia), who introduced the task force bill, will chair the pro-production panel, formed in response to 8,000-plus job openings at Long Island factories (as counted by the Long Island chapter of the Workforce Development Institute) and…


Personal perspectives inform ‘Women in Manufacturing’

By GREGORY ZELLER // Some of Long Island’s most influential manufacturing leaders will come together Oct. 6 to discuss the role of women in engineering and technology-related fields – something this particular panel knows all about. As part of Suffolk County Community College’s Women in Manufacturing/STEM Summit, the Women in Manufacturing Panel and Video Screening will shine a light on the ways professional passions and specific workforce needs are fueling new science, technology, engineering and…


Debrief: Keeping busy with Phil Rugile

There’s never a dull moment when you’re Phil Rugile, who pulls double duty as director of the hyperactive LaunchPad Huntington and as “human capital strategist” at eGifter, the Huntington-based digital gifting/corporate prepaid solutions specialist that remains one of Long Island’s great innovation success stories. When Innovate LI last Debriefed the media-savvy entrepreneur, LaunchPad Huntington was barely a year old and still finding its way; two years hence, Rugile has honed the co-working space into a…


Brain drain? Put a cork in it

By GREGORY ZELLER // Don’t whine when you can wine. That was one of the big ideas Wednesday, when a select group of educators, hospitality professionals and economic-development experts – each with a particular interest in addressing Long Island’s infamous “brain drain” – toured several East End winemaking facilities. Arranged by the Long Island regional office of the Workforce Development Institute, the field trip was designed to help insiders understand the workforce needs and career…


For MindYolk and WDI, a true teaching moment

By GREGORY ZELLER // A multidimensional Long Island maker is rewriting the textbook on how to educate tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce – kinda literally, sorta. Paul Lipsky, CEO of Plainview-based MindYolk Animation Studio and founder of digital-creator community Long Island Visual Professionals, is about to hand in the most critical college project of his life: a complete curriculum leading to a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in interactive computer graphics, which he plans to deliver to…


URGENT effort eyes women for larger utility roles

By GREGORY ZELLER // Mixing gender equity, evolving workforce needs and a dash of economic-development sauce, the Workforce Development Institute and several big-name utilities are partnering with Nassau Community College to provide free career training for women. The idea, according to the sponsors of the Utility Readiness for Gaining Employment for Non-Traditionals: Women program, is to prepare women for larger roles in the utilities industries. The partners – including representatives of PSEG Long Island, National…