Friday, June 8, 2007

Another Piece of the Long Island Puzzle

Good article below and well worth reading. Long Island Colleges and Universities must, as we've stated previously, must play an integral role in the creation of any long term public policy solutions and are a major part of the Long Island 3.0 (and New York 3.0) concepts.

"Economic growth, university-style, on Long Island
By Robert A. Scott
Friday, June 8, 2007 (LI Business News)

Imagine a community chamber of commerce that decided to start a strategic planning process for economic development, including the following principles and priorities.
First, they want to recruit an enterprise that would produce a product or service of which everyone could be proud. Second, they want an enterprise whose employees are highly educated and willing to be active in community organizations. Third, they want an enterprise that is respectful of the environment. Fourth, they want an enterprise willing to partner with schools, the civic community and businesses. Fifth, they want an enterprise that would have a significant and positive impact on the local economy through taxes paid and both operating and capital expendures.
On Long Island, that enterprise is higher education. There are 19 colleges and universities here with combined annual budgets totaling over $3.2 billion – that easily translates into a $4 billion economic impact, and this does not count the effects of more than $1 billion in capital investments committed for the next five years.
Nor does it count FICA, federal and state income taxes and other taxes collected. And when one adds in the restaurant, hotel and other expenditures of those who visit campuses during the year (for homecoming, reunions, cultural events, graduations and sports events), the economic impact grows even larger – and we haven’t even mentioned the expenditures of nearly 175,000 students and 38,000 employees.
Universities are teachers, models and partners in economic and community development. We use our intellectual, cultural and capital assets to prepare professionals, managers and artists; to contribute to the quality of life that attracts and sustains businesses; and to create jobs and wealth. This is economic development, university-style: the community developer’s dream partner."

Robert A. Scott is president of Adelphi University in Garden City.

Some additional interesting thoughts:

Newsday 6/8/07 Letters to the Editor

Use Avis site for affordable homesIt is common knowledge through the work of the Long Island Association and the Rauch Foundation's Long Island Index that Nassau and Suffolk counties lack adequate supplies of affordable housing for young professionals and service workers. As a consequence, businesses, schools and colleges find it difficult to recruit those with critical skills. The challenge for the business sector is so severe that we now refer to the "Top 75" public companies, not the "Top 100."Too much of new housing is for those 55 and older with no school-age children. Rental apartments at affordable rates are hard to find.County, state and federal properties no longer used for their public purpose should be zoned, in whole or in part, for multiple-dwelling workforce, or "starter," housing.Now on Old Country Road at the site of the old Avis property in Westbury, we have an opportunity to build housing for young professionals and others who could fill critical job needs and become the consumers and taxpayers Nassau County needs.With some imagination, special zoning and Hempstead support, a new housing development could help revitalize an area that could easily become blighted if attention is not given to our highest priorities.Surely, this must be of interest to the county executive, the Town of Hempstead and Simon Properties, owners of nearby Roosevelt Field Mall.

Robert A. Scott Editor's note: The writer is president of Adelphi University.Garden City

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