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Ken Morelly, Pres LIFT

September 11, 2009 @ 12:00 am EDT


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This morning our speaker at LIMBA was Ken Morelly, President of Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT). LIFT has been the agency on Long Island that has helped the small, and not so small technology companies in their pursuit of bringing their products and services to market. The services provided  has has a remarkable record of being helpful.

This morning the emphasis was on the Homeland Security Center that LIFT has been in charge of organizing. The major players in this effort are Globecom, Siemens, and LIFT. The center is an elaborate array of comunications that provide information and coordination among the various entities that would be involved in major events such as a Katrina level huricane. FEMA, the US Coast Guard, The National Weather Service, the Suffolk and Nassau Offices of Emergency Management, and fire and police departments are all part of the mix.

The security of the unit is understandably robust with three levels of security being needed to enter the heart of the operations. But this is not just an emergency center that gears up only for the "big event". It is a working research center where the participating companies and government entities are constantly talking to each other and developing stratagies and products that compliment each others efforts.

The possibilities and opporetunities that are, and will be created by this effort are in some ways obvious. On the other hand, once we embark on ambitios plans there is a serendipity that brings us to new levels of curiosity and discovery.

Mr Morelly spent some time on discussing "green jobs". LIFT is putting efforts into developing these jobs and while all of the classifications of green jobs look  a lot like the crafts we have known, they are now being applied to the green technologies. A welder or an electrician working on a solar array is now part of the green technology as much as the worker who designs and invents the the green apparatus.

On a less optimistic note we are seeinfg a shortage of engineers, and that shortage has a lot to do with the cost of living on Long Island. The wages on Long Island have in the past been higher than the rest of the nation. We are now seeing a convergence where Long Islanders earn salaries that are similar to other parts of the country while their cost of living is much higher.

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