Suozzi: “We want companies to know about this vibrant cluster of defense and aeronautics businesses here on Long Island.”
Brookville, NY - December 6, 2017 - Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Queens, Long Island) attempted to draw the eyes of the nation upon the technical savvy and business innovation unique to the Long Island region this week when he hosted an aerospace and defense industry supply conference in the Tilles Center of the LIU Post campus in Brookville, NY, drawing over 200 attendees representing over 150 companies – including several important government and industry leaders – to extol the virtues of what Suozzi referred to as the “495 Research Corridor on High-Tech Island.”
Suozzi said that he wanted to send a very clear and loud message to the rest of the United States; that the capabilities of the Long Island work force are second to none when to comes to supplying the nation’s aerospace and defense industry with the very best in cutting-edge solutions to their diverse and demanding needs, no matter what they may be. The goal, Suozzi noted, is to attract more businesses – and their dollars – to Long Island in an effort to grow its job market and improve the economy.
NY Congressmand Tom Suozzi. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
“We want companies to know about this vibrant cluster of defense and aeronautics businesses here on Long Island. Long Island played such an important role during World War II and during the space race, but we need to look towards tomorrow,” he said. “We need to promote Long Island as a high-skill, high-tech center of excellence throughout this country. Everyone knows about Silicon Valley, but we want people to know about the 495 Research Corridor on High-Tech Island.”
Suozzi's aerospace and defense industry supply conference was hosted in the Tilles Center of the LIU Post campus in Brookville. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
Several very well-known business and government leaders attended the event, speaking to a room packed with professionals eagerly hanging on their every word. Among the speakers present that day were Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Eric Chewning, Dave Logan of BAE Systems, Camille Geiger of Boeing, and Patricia McMahon of Northrop Grumman.
Suozzi explained that the speakers – all of whom had flown in from their respective home states in order to attend the high-profile conference – would be lending their personal and professional expertise and advice to attendees, informing them on how to grow and meet the demands of the modern technological age.
Suozzi goal of the conference was to extol the virtues of what he referred to as the “495 Research Corridor on High-Tech Island.” Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
“We need to let people know that Long Island has a vibrant and active cluster of defense and aerospace companies that could be serving the rest of the country, we need to brand ourselves as High-Tech Island,” he said. “We need to develop the networks and hear from the experts that deal with supply chain businesses that represent prime contractors so we know what they're looking for from big-name suppliers.”
Eric Chewning, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, said that the United States military relies on the best and the brightest in the industry when to comes to securing the borders of our country and keeping American citizens safe. With the right commitment to technology and innovation, Chewning noted, Long Island could easily compete with the biggest companies out there.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Eric Chewning. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
“The revitalization of the manufacturing and defense industry is critical to support the priorities of the Department of Defense. We need to make sure our armed forces are the best equipped, best protected, and the most lethal in the world,” he said. “As war changes, industry must react and change along with it. The foundation of our defense rests with manufacturing and technology companies, and my department wants to help Long Island to grow and support its defense Industries.”
Avoiding stagnation and striving to reach each new technological threshold in the defense and aerospace fields is vital to reviving Long Island’s economy and job market, Dave Logan of BAE Systems said, provided local companies maintain the right attitude in terms of staying at the forefront of cutting-edge development and manufacturing techniques.
Dave Logan of BAE Systems. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
“When you think about the environment that's out there right now, you'll see that our adversaries are becoming more and more adaptive. What we need out of our workforce is the ability to innovate at a pace that exceeds that of our adversaries,” he said. “We need a can-do, can-solve type of attitude here, and we need to step up as a group and address these challenges. With that type of attitude we can solve any problem. It’s about attitude, innovation, and quality.”
Patricia McMahon of Northrop Grumman said that anticipating industry trends and jumping on board to not only catch up to them, but spearheading them, is the key to success for Long Island to grip the reigns as leaders of the national aerospace and defense industry.
Patricia McMahon of Northrop Grumman. Photo Credit: Chris Boyle
“One area that Long Island needs to compete in is aircraft manufacture, especially as the industry is moving away from metal and more towards composites. We need to take a long hard look at what we need to do to upgrade for composite manufacturing, which is a different technology,” she said. “What we need is constant innovation, and as long as you continue to innovate and evolve with the threats facing our country, you will succeed.”