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From the desk of The Nassau County Executive: April 12, 2012

Nassau County Is At The Forefront Of Jobs Initiatives

I picked up the newspaper this week to see another positive sign that the Long Island economy is beginning to recover from the worst recession since post World War II. It didn’t make the front page of the newspaper, but just the same, it was significant in the hope that it delivered.

It was a story about a young Bay Shore resident, a 2011 graduate of Touro Law School, who secured a position with a local law firm. The young man, who had been unsuccessfully searching the want ads for months, got a call from a former law school classmate inviting him to submit a resume to the firm where he is now working. Then Bingo. He got the job.

It is the kind of story on which young college graduates build their dreams and the kind that for too long have eluded them.

When I was elected county executive I made a pledge that I would do whatever I could to help the good residents of Nassau County fulfill their dreams. One of the first things I did was to begin hosting private sector job fairs and providing career assistance that I believed could be beneficial to those residents who are unemployed; things like small business workshops, career counseling assistance, and even credit counseling.

Building on that momentum, I sponsored a very successful job and career fair in March, and in conjunction with the department of social services and C.A.S.A., I have set aside two dates for job fairs. The first is May 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. The second is specifically aimed at assisting veterans on May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nassau Community College’s Physical Education Complex.

While job fairs help people by giving them access to companies that are hiring and providing incentive to highlight their skills and expertise, the real foundation for job growth comes in the form of economic development, for without financially secure, private-sector companies choosing to do business in Nassau County, there wouldn’t be opportunity for employment.

Working closely with the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, I have helped to create more than 1,600 new jobs and retain more than 1,000 jobs in the area while generating more than $1 billion in economic activity for the county. Utilizing economic development programs, Nassau County has encouraged companies like Penn Toyota, Mela Shopping Mall in Hicksville, Nassau Steel, and 2200 Northern Blvd. among others, to make the capital investment to remain in Nassau County. Some of the companies have expanded or renovated existing properties, while others, like BWD Group was incentivized to build a new corporate headquarters in Plainview that retained 147 jobs and created 35 new construction jobs while generating more than $214 million in economic activity.

Most recently, I have worked to attract Hain Celestial Group, Inc., manufacturer of Celestial Seasonings tea, Terra Chips, WestSoy beverages, and Rosetto pasta, to Nassau County. Although they are already located in Suffolk, Nassau will help them secure 86,104 square feet of space in Lake Success and thereby prevent this company and their jobs from leaving Long Island.

Together with the Nassau IDA, my administration is implementing economic development initiatives that help put people back to work and build a stronger economy.

News

One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.

Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.

Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.

“I’ll have to figure out a new way home from work,” said Marco Allicastro, a 20-year-old Queens resident waiting for a train home at the Bethpage station after a day’s work at the local King Kullen. “Long Island doesn’t really have a lot of options in terms of transportation. Maybe I should get a new job.”


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