It’s easy for the business community and academia to give lip service to concepts of job creation and cultivating student opportunity. But leaders from Suffolk County Community College and HIA-LI are backing up their talk with concrete action and a roadmap of plans to make it happen.

Joe Campolo, HIA-LI Board Chairman and Campolo, Middleton & McCormick Managing Partner, recently met with a team of SCCC administrators and leaders to discuss building their partnership. It’s a natural collaboration: with Long Island’s workers aging out, the business community – particularly industrial and manufacturing businesses in the Hauppauge Industrial Park (HIP) – needs the next generation of workers. Students coming out of institutions of higher learning, such as SCCC, need jobs. “Academia and the business community need each other, but are often lacking in each other,” Campolo said. “If we are really going to make Long Island better and do more for students, we need to focus on jobs.”

Looking to “fertilize” student opportunities, SCCC administrators, including Dr. John K. Galiotos, Dr. Fara Afshar, and John Lombardo, are successfully establishing the school as a top choice for the HIP’s workforce pipeline, particularly in technology and manufacturing. They are actively working to increase awareness of the HIP among students and build engagement with academic staff by fostering relationships with the business community. Speaking of HIA-LI/SCCC collaboration as a “need-to-have, not a nice-to-have,” the leaders at the meeting got to work creating a list of opportunities on which the organizations can work together, from mentoring programs to job fairs to community solar initiatives.

Long Island is home to many prestigious colleges and universities, but SCCC fills a unique niche: while many students there go on to four-year colleges and beyond, others attend SCCC for its hands-on technical programs such as AAS two-year degree programs and other non-degree training programs. In a society that often views a bachelor’s or master’s degree as an obligatory stepping stone to success, these talented students are often overlooked as a critical part of the labor force. HIA-LI and SCCC are committed to partnering these students with the Long Island businesses that need them – and in turn, ensuring Long Island’s future economic growth.

Following the meeting, Campolo toured the Workforce Development Technology Center for an inside look at SCCC’s unrivaled training programs in manufacturing-related disciplines, created in partnership with the industries they serve. Check out these photos of the tour here, then visit these SCCC websites to learn more:

All Degree Programs

Manufacturing AAS Degree Program

Workforce Training

If your business would like to recruit at SCCC or learn more, please contact Dr. Fara Afshar at!



Joe Campolo recently met with a team of administrators and leaders from Suffolk County Community College to discuss collaboration between the school and HIA-LI. SCCC plays a critical role in educating and training the workforce pipeline for the Hauppauge Industrial Park – the largest industrial park in the nation after Silicon Valley. Next photo: SCCC’s Workforce Development Technology Center, at the Brentwood campus, offers programs designed in partnership with industry to provide hands-on training in several manufacturing-related disciplines including welding, electronic assembly and soldering, and CNC (computer numeric control) machine operation, among others.


Campolo toured SCCC’s Workforce Development Technology Center with Ali Laderian, Manufacturing Technology/Engineering Program Coordinator; Fara Afshar, Associate Dean of STEM/CTE; John Galiotos, Senior Associate Vice President of STEM/CTE; and Lisa Calla, Assistant Dean for Workforce Development, Community Partnerships, and STEM/CTE. Next photo: What high school science fair dreams are made of.



Dr. Galiotos at the training center. Next photo: Program Coordinator Ali Laderian and Communications Director Drew Biondo review SCCC program offerings with Joe Campolo, who is spearheading initiatives to grow the pipeline of talented workers for the future of the Hauppauge Industrial Park.


A maze of pipes and steel overlooks the CNC machines. Next photo: The CNC Machine Operator training program is taught in a blended format – a combination of classroom, lab, and online learning. Students receive a certificate of completion and a National Certification as a CNC Mill and Lathe Operator from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.


Long Island businesses in high-demand fields routinely hire students from SCCC’s manufacturing programs for their hands-on experience. Next photo: A Computer Numeric Controller used for student training. SCCC offers manufacturing and industrial training programs designed to develop critical manufacturing skills. This focus makes SCCC students a perfect fit for Long Island businesses seeking employees who can hit the ground running.


Here at CMM, we’re not sure what this CMM Machine does, but we want one. Next photo: Ali Laderian gives Joe Campolo an inside look at the CMM Machine.


Inside a student workshop. Next photo: View from above: another intricate ceiling at the training center.