New York State Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan Discusses STEM Education and Workforce Development at the Composite Prototyping Center

December 8, 2015

The Composite Prototyping Center (CPC, Plainview, NY) held a special luncheon event and presentation titled, “STEM Is the Way to the Future.” New York State Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan served as the keynote speaker. Senator Flanagan was joined as a presenter by Yacov Shamash, PhD, Vice President for Economic Development and Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University, and Theresa Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island. CPC Executive Director Leonard Poveromo was the event’s Master of Ceremony.

Over 130 were in attendance representing local manufacturers, educators, business leaders and other elected officials including: New York State Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci, New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, New York State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, New York State Senator Phil Boyle, New York State Senator Thomas Croci and New York State Senator Carl Marcellino. They all heard Senator Flanagan comment on the importance of establishing a partnership between New York State and local organizations such as the CPC.

During the event, Majority Leader Flanagan discussed the critical role of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development in advancing the CPC’s mission, which is to help manufacturers access the resources and training needed to start participating in the opportunities afforded by advanced manufacturing.

“I appreciate the opportunity to address the CPC as they continue their efforts to help make sure Long Island’s economy grows and excels in the 21st century.  The Senate Republican Conference remains ready to work with all who are committed to the economic future of our state and we look forward to partnering with the CPC to help build on their success in helping New York’s manufacturers compete, grow and create jobs,” states Majority Leader Flanagan.

Senator Flanagan has long been a staunch advocate for education having served as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education prior to his election as Majority Leader. He has been a constant voice for increasing the quality of education in New York State and ensuring that all regions in the state receive their fair share of state aid.  Among the initiatives he has fostered were the expansion of funding for pre-kindergarten programs, a college tuition assistance program, and college savings programs that enable tax-free savings and increased deductions for future college tuition payments.

In her presentation, Ms. Regnante noted that, “When you look at Long Island, 20% of the region’s 785,000 households have incomes of $50,000 or less. Six years ago, the United Way made a decision for Workforce Development that would help individuals and young people living in those households gain the opportunity to earn more through skilled labor positions. The Composite Prototyping Center is providing that opportunity.”

Ms. Regnante also cited the United Way’s emphasis on helping returning Long Island veterans, many who served on the battlefields, with the transition and transfer of skills needed to earn and live on Long Island.

Mr. Poveromo explained that the CPC is currently working with Vaughn College and area high schools including Bethpage, Syosset and Huntington High Schools, in a six-week STEM course on composite technology. The program gives the students a first-hand introduction to advanced manufacturing at the high school level. The goal is to encourage these students’ pursuit of a STEM career after graduation.

The last speaker for the event was Dr. Shamash. He explained that Stony Brook University has been supporting the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT)’s mission since it first conceived of developing a composite prototyping center. He added that, recognizing the importance of advancing manufacturing for the region’s economic development, Stony Brook University also developed an Applied Science program in advanced manufacturing and design.

Following the presentations, there were tours of the CPC, including a demonstration of what Mr. Poveromo referred to as the “jewel of the Center,” its automated fiber placement robot. The equipment, manufactured by Automated Dynamics and funded with a NYSERDA grant, can fabricate parts up to 120” long and up to 48” in diameter.


NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan delivering his keynote address at the CPC STEM event.

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About CPC

The Composite Prototyping Center (CPC) has as its mission to enable all organizations to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing by providing access to essential training, workforce development, process technologies, prototype manufacturing and critical testing capabilities.

The CPC offers full prototype manufacturing, hands-on technical training from professional materials manufacturing experts, and a full array of state-of-the-art systems and equipment. Its comprehensive production line technologies are housed in a 25,000-square-foot facility, which also provides R&D support and new composite material evaluation and design optimization services.