An information-technology management firm wants to move from Nassau County to Suffolk County because its owner said that living in Nassau is too expensive for prospective young employees.
Jericho-based IDP Consulting LLC is looking to hire recent college graduates and many of them cannot afford Nassau and don’t want a lengthy commute, owner Paul Sperry said Thursday.
More than half of the company’s current workforce of 20 people live in Suffolk, he said. Most are young, ranging in age from their 20s to 35, and unmarried.
“We’re in the tech space . . . all of our staff is young,” Sperry said in an interview. “A lot of single individuals find it challenging to live in Nassau County. So, they have made their residence in Suffolk County.”
Keeping young workers on Long Island is a challenge that local leaders have tried to meet in recent years by encouraging the construction of apartments near Long Island Rail Road stations and attracting bars, restaurants and boutiques to downtowns.
Sperry, a Port Washington resident, also said the difficulty of commuting on the Island has hurt his efforts to attract recent college graduates.
“We’ve lost applicants to competitors in Suffolk County because they didn’t want to commute from Suffolk into Nassau County,” he said. “The LIE is a pretty torturous way to start your day.”
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency on Thursday backed IDP’s $315,000 plan to rent 6,200 square feet of space at 135 Engineers Rd. in Hauppauge. The IDA granted a sales-tax exemption of up to $27,170.
The company, which has promised to hire seven people within two years, has been leasing 5,000 square feet at 300 Jericho Quadrangle.
The cost-of-living difference between Nassau and Suffolk hasn’t come up with other Nassau businesses seeking IDA help, Suffolk IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said. However, the issue has been raised by New York City firms, he said.
“Taxes are higher in Nassau County but you also have a natural progression of companies from west to east,” Catapano said, adding the IDA has no plans to sell Suffolk as a cheaper destination compared with Nassau.
IDP was started 30 years ago in Garden City and will soon be renamed Ivionics. The company is expanding the services it provides to small- and medium-sized businesses, Sperry said.
Records show IDP employees earn, on average, $87,500 per year excluding medical insurance and retirement benefits.
The company’s relocation and expansion would be a boost for the Engineers Road property, which has been owned by Tritec Development Group of East Setauket since 2002.
The 55,000-square-foot building had served as the headquarters of American Tissue Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. paper manufacturer until filing for bankruptcy in 2001. The American Tissue CEO was convicted on federal fraud charges stemming from a $300 million accounting scheme first reported by Newsday.