Suffolk IDA, Workforce Development and Long Island Association release pharmaceutical report

July 02, 2019 - Long Island

Hauppauge, NY The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the Workforce Development Institute, in conjunction with the Long Island Association (LIA), has released Driving Suffolk County’s Innovation Economy: The Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical Growth Factor. The report details the exponential growth the pharmaceutical/nutraceutical manufacturing sector has seen in the last decade—a more than 64% increase in employment while becoming the single largest manufacturing sector of any county in NYS—as well as the unique challenges this industry cluster faces on Long Island. 

The pharmaceutical/nutraceutical industry on Long Island comprises over 150 companies and 9,800 employees. These companies produce and commercialize up to 4,500 products every year. With over 9,300employees, Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical manufacturing comprises the largest manufacturing sector on Long Island.  Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical manufacturing employment has grown by 64 percent since 2004. Industry representatives, however, cite the difficulty of attracting and retaining qualified workers as one of their primary challenges to growth. The 48-page report details insights into opportunities that Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical companies and local stakeholders can take, including the creation of an industry-led trade organization, to ensure the industry continues to be a driving force behind Long Island’s innovation economy.

“When an industry cluster is as integral to our innovation economy as the pharmaceutical/nutraceutical manufacturing sector, it is of vital importance to better understand what makes them tick and what is needed for continued success,” said Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone. “We have been deeply engaged with this industry sector for the past several years with the report being the culmination of this work. We remain committed to convening and working with all our partners to continue to create a business environment that is conducive to sustainable growthwithin this and all sectors that creates opportunity for our employers and residents.”

“The growth of the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry on Long Island is quite remarkable,” said Kevin Law, president and CEO of the LIA. “The report’s findings validate Empire State Development’s designation of Long Island as the state’s BioTech hub and should serve as a call for the region to redouble its efforts to do everything possible to support the sector’s ongoing growth.” 

“This report is a continuation of Suffolk IDA’s proactive efforts to examine the County’s economy and pinpoint sustainable economic and job growth opportunities for our businesses and residents”, said Theresa Ward, chair of the Suffolk IDA board of directors. “Economic development is a team sport and this report is yet another example of regional entities coming together to tackle shared challenges. We are thankful to WDI and the LIA for working with us.” 

“This sector aligns with our regional priorities and has the ability to contribute to equitable and  inclusive regional growth, said Rosalie Drago, Long Island regional director at the Workforce Development Institute. “The defined career pathways can be accessed by Long Islanders with every level of educational attainment from a high school diploma through PHD. We have a local emerging and transitioning workforce with the STEAM skills required to power this industry and educational institutions to foster continued advancement for both our people and our employers.”

The Suffolk IDA and Workforce Development Institute, in conjunction with the Long Island Association, presented a summary of and the findings from the report on June 11th at the LIA headquarters in Melville. Numerous pharmaceutical executives and associations wereon hand to dive into the research as well as provide firsthand feedback and insight into their industry. 

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