Mangano’s tech team eyes job fair

Ed ManganoEd Mangano: Sweeping Westbury toward "long-term growth."

A technology-themed job fair, a potential tech trade show and new online-access options were among the ideas tossed around at the first meeting of Nassau County’s Tech Task Team.

Under the working title “T-Cubed” (other names being considered include “Tech Island”), the team met April 1 at the Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola, and while the kickoff gathering was largely organizational, insiders say it was also highly enthusiastic.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who formed the task force to bolster the county’s long-term economic success, said he was “honored” that so many industry leaders pitched in at the first meeting.

“I believe the long-term economic success of Nassau County greatly depends on support and growth of the tech industry,” Mangano told Innovate-LI. “As leaders in the tech community, those on Nassau’s Tech Task Team have valuable insights into how to make the industry flourish locally.”

Team members are already knee-deep in plans for a June 10 job fair featuring Long Island tech companies in need of talent. T-Cubed co-chairman Peter Goldsmith said the location of the fair would be determined based on the number of companies that sign up to participate.

In addition to a possible trade show sometime this summer – Goldsmith said team members were focusing first on the job fair – the task force also discussed ways to improve online access to keep regional and national audiences abreast of the group’s progress.

“We want to be able to link directly to the Nassau County and LaunchPad websites, so all of our relevant information will be out there,” Goldsmith said. “The bottom line is the idea of a public-private education partnership similar to what’s happening in New York City, and we’re all going to work together to explain to the rest of the country exactly what Long Island has.”

Gerard Hiner, task force member and executive sales manager for Garden City hosting/colocation giant Webair, cited “great internal dialogue” at the first meeting, focused on encouraging startups, retaining existing tech firms and plugging Long Island’s brain drain once and for all.

“It was a great start,” Hiner said. “There was a lot of discussion about promoting technology on Long Island and keeping interest here from existing tech companies, and also helping startups realize they can build and grow here.”

A healthy amount of discussion, Hiner added, was devoted to separating task force members into appropriate subcommittees.

“When you have too many committees, nothing seems to happen,” he said. “If you have too few, nothing happens. But we have some really engaged members who are all looking to do something, and that’s what’s going to drive us.”

Subcommittees are being formed specifically to work on T-Cubed’s website and related issues, Goldsmith noted, and on the June 10 job fair. While the tech team plans to meet in full only quarterly, subcommittees will meet as necessary to address these issues – including a tentative meeting next week to discuss T-Cubed marketing initiatives, featuring Goldsmith, co-chairman Andrew Hazen, task force members Paul Trapani of PJT Consulting (a resident of LaunchPad Huntington) and Tyler Roye (founder of group-gifting website eGifter) and representatives of Mangano’s office.

“The idea was not to try to take on the world from Day 1,” Goldsmith noted. “We’re taking this step by step. It was a great first meeting, and now we have to go make something of it.”