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LI center to hire specialist to connect factories, colleges

Leonard Poveromo, executive director of the Composite Prototyping

Leonard Poveromo, executive director of the Composite Prototyping Center, stands next to a piece of composite material in front of an autoclave in Plainview Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

A government program to help manufacturers will get more staff because of a $1.2 million federal grant, with one person assigned to Long Island.

Empire State Development announced it is taking applications for three specialists to work with the federal Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, or MEP, in Nassau County and Rochester.

Locally, a specialist will work at the Composite Prototyping Center in Plainview, a unit of the Long Island Forum for Technology, or LIFT. Applications are due Dec. 2 to Empire State Development. The three positions each pay between $66,000 and $90,000 per year. They are funded for two years.

The announcement comes days after Stony Brook University unveiled its Manufacturing and Technology Resource Consortium, which will run the MEP program locally. The university won a multiyear contract in late 2015 valued at $1.3 million per year.

The consortium is based at the composite center.

State officials said the specialists will help connect factories to colleges and nonprofits that can assist them in developing products and improving worker skills.

The specialists will help “to spur job creation and increase manufacturing . . . while also increasing program efficiency and strengthening the industry,” said Howard Zemsky, CEO of Empire State Development.

The addition of another expert at the composite center is a boost for 40-year-old LIFT, which is being reorganized after struggling financially.

Center director Leonard Poveromo said, “With the funding, we will help small- and mid-size manufacturers to develop new advanced composites initiatives and create new job opportunities.”


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