Vickie Moller | LongIsland.com

The Long Island Association, the Island’s largest business group, recently released a list of priorities and initiatives that it will advocate for in 2014. The group confirmed its commitment to create jobs, spur private investment, promote economic development, continue to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy, reduce property taxes and improve Long Island’s overall business environment.

Among its efforts to strengthen Long Island’s infrastructure, the LIA said it will work with others to build “transit-oriented development projects,” support investments in the Long Island Railroad in order to facilitate travel to and from New York City and back the expansion of MacArthur Airport to include new destinations and to strengthen its connection to the LIRR Ronkonkoma station. The group said it will also work to create construction jobs through investments in reconstruction, maintenance and modernization of transportation systems, sewers and utilities.

Energy initiatives include supporting the Island’s transition to PSEG and strengthening its energy infrastructure through diverse energy supplies and renewable energy programs, including wind, solar and other clean energy initiatives.

Additionally, the LIA will participate in Start-Up NY and support tax credit and other initiatives to spur the growth of high-tech startup companies on the Island. Among other objectives, the organization will also support immigration reform to increase H-1B visas, allowing highly skilled immigrants to remain in the U.S and drive Long Island’s innovation economy, support STEM programs and work to expand international trade for Long Island companies.

Another top priority for the business group includes addressing Long Island’s changing demographics, which, the organization said “may be the single greatest challenge facing Long Island today.”

Pointing to statistical data that confirms Long Island’s population is aging and losing its younger generation, the group said, “We need to start growing again and…while our region adapts to population changes, we need to ensure we do not jettison our educational and environmental amenities that make Long Island an attractive place to live and work.” {….}