July 26, 2017

ESPRI Workforce and Economic Development Committee Minutes

Date: 07/26/17

Time: 9:30am

Location: The INN- 108 Madison Ave. Hempstead, NY

cO-CHAIRS Pat Edwards, George Siberon

Robert Suarez, Dennis Jones

UWLI STAFF: Theresa Regnante- UWLI- President/CEO

Biena Depeña- ESPRI Planning Coordinator

Attendees Lawrence Bernstein- Executive Director- Lawrence Foundation

Ana-Maria Hurtado- Commissioner- Hempstead Works

Nancy Burke- The INN

Phil Mickulas- UWLI

Pat Barrow- Community Resident

Wayne Redman- Executive Director – Hempstead Boys & Girls

Dawn Williams- Executive Director- The Journey of Difference, Inc.

Lawrence Ding- Cambridge Business Institute

Gregory Becker- Hempstead Works

Tina- Shuford- Community Resident

Reggy Pope- NAN

Duglas T. Lee- journey of Difference- guest

Sherley Brockman- Community Resident- Guest

John Sanders- Community Resident

Patricia Johnson- CDC LI

Acquilla Bailey – Community Resident- Guest

Wanda Jones- Community Resident- Guest

ABSENT Dana Boylan- Assistant DA- Nassau County DA’s Office

Sunita Manjekar- Director of Employment –DSS

Rosalie Drago- Director of Workforce Development Launchpad

Lucas Sanchez- Director NYCC

Reginald Benjamin-  Executive Director- ABBA

Shelley Brezley- Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs

Discussion Economic Empowerment discussion

  •  The significance of obtaining MWBE certification and registration as a means of bringing more local businesses to “the next level” of performance and profitability.  There are differences between NYS and NC requirements, with the former being more complicated and requiring more assistance to reduce the paperwork burden on small business owners.
  • While assistance can be found at the SUNY-Farmingdale small business program, the group will explore whether similar services could be available through the SUNY project located on Fulton Street in Hempstead, which was characterized as relatively unknown and underutilized.  (George Siberon said he would check this out.)
  •  A longer term issue is the need to gain reciprocity between NYS and NC requirements, i.e., if someone is NYS-certified, they should automatically be approved at the county level. It was acknowledged that this might take advocacy efforts at the state level.
  • While this may be a long-term project (reciprocity/sustainability), the short-term goal would be to organize a pilot project to provide this information and support during Q4. To encourage current owners (and those planning to start a business in the village), the program should include stories from those who have seen their businesses benefit from MWBE inclusion.  An important outcome of this project would be the identification of mentors who would be willing to be matched with an owner as s/he navigates the application and certification process.


Workforce Development discussion

·         The launch of the Genesis Construction Training Center was noted as a positive example to provide training in a variety of construction-related fields.

·         The group endorsed the concept of MWBE training for local owners.  Acquilla Bailey, owner of Bailey’s Caterers, attended and said that her business has reached a plateau and she would like to benefit from such training as a means of taking her successful business “to the next level”; which would allow her to expand and hire additional employees.

·         Although a training function has been mentioned often and in several committees, it was agreed that the first step before setting out any such curriculum would be to identify and convene current successful businesses active in the VOH to become part of a Business Advisory Council.  One purpose would be to be sure that any training offered would meet the needs of real businesses now and into the foreseeable future (next 3-5 years).  And, further, that if such training/education was provided to Hempstead students that these businesses would be committed to provide apprenticeships or outright employment to HSD graduates.

·         The committee proposed a short-term goal of identifying and vetting membership to a Business Advisory Council and then convening that group for its initial meeting before the end of Q4. It was suggested that proposed members should be invited individually, preferably by someone who already has a business relationship with them.  It was further suggested, however, that a one-page “script” be prepared to ensure that the same message is being communicated to each invitee.  (Phil and Biena will draft this and circulate to all members.


Conclusions Both committees endorsed the overarching idea that a youth perspective needs to be captured and included in any planning; not least because they will be the most affected by such decisions and they will occupy the jobs/careers that will succeed in the future.  This was a concept similarly endorsed in yesterday’s Education Committee meeting.
Action items Person responsible Deadline
Economic Empowerment:

A subcommittee will be formed to plan and implement this pilot project.  It will seek to avoid the planning shortfalls of many VOH efforts; allowing adequate lead time to address publicity, format, agenda, etc.  (The HPL will be asked to provide space for this effort.)


Dawn Williams,

Acquilla Bailey

Next meeting
 The importance of engaging young people in business, financial, entrepreneurial matters concluded with agreement that inclusion of such topics in the school curriculum (from elementary through high school) should be considered with HSD personnel.  One national organization that has such curriculum guides is Junior Achievements.  Wayne Redman Next meeting
Dennis Jones committed the COC to assisting in the identification of suitable members to this group. It was further suggested that businesses that have PILOT’s should have a real incentive to cooperating in this manner.  If necessary, the mayor should be engaged to “jawbone” any who are hesitant to so. Dennis Jones Next meeting
The HPL will be consulted to see if it can be the venue for such a meeting – hopefully by the middle of November.
A subcommittee should be formed to plan this event – including some youth representation.


Next joint meeting: August 30, 2017 9:30am  



Translate »
%d bloggers like this: