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How LI lost Arrow's HQ -- and engineering jobs

Arrow chief executive Michael Long, right, with Colorado

Arrow chief executive Michael Long, right, with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in Denver. (Oct. 12, 2011) Credit: Denver Post

Arrow Electronics Inc., with $18 billion in annual sales, had been working on a move from Melville to Colorado for about a year, after an Arrow executive approached John Hickenlooper, the current Colorado governor, in late 2010 while he was campaigning for office, a published report said.

Arrow's shares in early trading Thursday were down about 1 percent, to $31.42, a stock price that represents a 15 percent increase over the past 12 months.

Denver gained -- and Long Island lost -- Arrow's headquarters due to a full-court press of persuasion that included leaders of Denver's universities, airport, city and state government and economic development offices, the report said.

The Denver Business Journal report, published Tuesday, is based on an insider's view -- an interview with Ken Lund, Hickenlooper's former legal counsel. Arrow has said it hopes to add more than 1,200 jobs in Denver, while maintaining more than 500 jobs in Melville.

Arrow Electronics Inc. is looking to create new jobs for university-trained engineers as its corporate headquarters moves to Colorado, and the company also sees a need for similar job candidates for Arrow suppliers who will establish nearby offices in metro Denver, the report says.

Arrow "wanted to make certain that when they start to bring the supply chain in that the universities can supply trained people as candidates, and some assurances that as they grow they can still get incentives as a result of new businesses they might bring into the state," Tom Clark, executive vice president for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., said in the report.

"When Arrow asked about engineering programs at Colorado’s universities, and their ability to train candidates Arrow or its suppliers could use, the group put the company in touch with university officials," Clark said.

The 2010 inquiry led to a meeting between Lund and Michael Long, the Arrow chief executive, who was based in Denver on a 44-acre company site in Englewood.

“That precipitated a very focused effort by us — the administration — with weekly meetings to talk about how to align resources in such a way as to make it compelling for Arrow to move,” Lund in the report. Hickenlooper then spoke directly to Long about the move, the report said.

Arrow's Colorado offices are on 44 acres it bought in 2000, and most of that site remains undeveloped, The Denver Post reported this week.

Photo: Arrow chief executive Michael Long, right, with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in Denver. (Oct. 12, 2011)

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