Originally printed by libn.com
HIA-LI chief Terri Alessi-Miceli revs one of the Island’s largest economic engines
March 16-22, 2018
As president and CEO of the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island, Terri Alessi-Miceli directs the activities and initiatives for the business organization that represents more than 850 member firms, most of which are located within the Hauppauge Industrial Park.
For nearly 40 years, HIA-LI has provided a forum for business leaders to network, problem solve and obtain advice on critical issues facing their businesses.
Before heading to HIA-LI, Alessi-Miceli served as managing director of Dale Carnegie Training for more than 18 years. She is also a former board member of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, the New York League of Conservation Voters and the Suffolk County Girl Scout Council.
Why is the Hauppauge Industrial Park so vital to the Long Island economy? The Hauppauge Industrial Park is the largest industrial park east of the Mississippi River and the second largest in the nation after Silicon Valley. With over 1,300 companies and 55,000 employees, HIA-LI has partnered with Stony Brook University and the Suffolk Industrial Development Agency to identify the true economic impact an industrial park of this magnitude has on Suffolk County, Long Island and the state. The results are astounding with over $3 billion in total combined business payroll, $14 billion in sales volume generated by park businesses, $64.5 million levied in annual property taxes, and one-in-20 jobs on Long Island dependent upon the park. The industrial park is a major economic engine not only to the Long Island economy, but to the nation.
What types of companies are located within the park and how has the mix of industries changed over the years? Within the park’s 1,400 acres and 11 square miles is 14 million square feet of Class A office and light to heavy industrial space. Originally, the park was a telephone pole antenna farm built by ITT used for ship-to-shore and overseas communication. When that technology became obsolete, the area was prime for development. The park today is home to manufacturing, wholesale trade, professional, scientific and technology companies. Many of the pharmaceutical companies on Long Island have at least one location if not more in the Hauppauge Industrial Park.
How does HIA-LI advance the needs and goals of its members? Now more than ever, our business members need support and strategies to help cut through the red tape that too often slows their businesses down. HIA-LI helps accelerate the growth of Long Island business by connecting private industry and their leaders with impactful resources, education, branding and research. Advocating for the economic success of our region, we improve the quality of life of all Long Islanders.
What is happening with the new initiative to create more mixed-use and possibly some residential opportunities in the Hauppauge Industrial Park? We want to create a 21st century eco-industrial park which includes collaborating with our partners at the Long Island Builders Institute to help create housing options that are affordable to the full range of park employees and the future workforce.
Why is that so important to the future of the park? With young people leaving Long Island, it’s critical that the region’s leaders help create places for them to live, work and play. Making the Hauppauge Industrial Park a magnet for a talented workforce, with the skills needed for next-generation jobs, is critical to their retention and the growth of the Long Island economy.
How crucial is the Town of Smithtown’s new zoning towards that effort? It’s critical to the park’s growth. That’s why HIA-LI worked with the Town of Smithtown to help identify what the park needed in terms of the creation of new zoning and an overlay district, as well as an updated sewage expansion project.
How has the shortage of available industrial space impacted business growth at the park? Although there’s no buildable land in the industrial park, the new zoning and sewage upgrades give us the opportunity for vertical growth. We’ve seen movement and will see more in terms of business owners taking advantage of those options.
What other changes or improvements might be implemented to boost business for your members? Our overall goals in the park are certainly to make it more visible but also to adopt best practices for development, to continue to build partnerships with local research educational institutions like Stony Brook University and others and ultimately help design a 21st century employment center. As the park grows so do the opportunities for our members to sell their products and services.
How has the annual HIA-LI trade show helped to showcase the success of the Hauppauge Industrial Park and your organization as well? The HIA-LI is proud that the Annual Trade Show and Conference, now in its 30th year, serves as a major business connector as well as a critical forum for discussion about economic development. We discuss projects like downtown Patchogue, the Ronkonkoma Hub, and the Hauppauge Industrial Park growth. That discussion has caught the attention of our region’s leadership to make change happen.
What other events does the HIA-LI organize to assist in that? Our HIA-LI Annual Hauppauge Industrial Park Update serves as an important forum to discuss the progress that is being made. This benefits both occupants in the park as well as Long Island businesses that want to do more business there. Other initiatives include highlighting the fantastic work that is being done on Long Island, companies that are doing it right or have done something different, better or more effective. For example, our Annual Business Achievement Awards serves as a forum for our members to discuss best practices. Our small business open forums and 15 active committees provide education when small business struggles with their bandwidth.
What’s your overall outlook for the future of the park and your organization? We are optimistic that as an advocate for the Hauppauge Industrial Park the future looks very promising. People are really starting to recognize not only the economic power of the park, but also the potent potential to transform it into a real community. We see the organization as a catalyst for change not only for the Hauppauge Industrial Park, but for all of Long Island. We will continue to represent thousands of business professionals inside and outside the park and their interests. As the demographics change, so will our ability to offer more virtually while staying true to the power of helping our members make connections.