School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. Marks Dual Anniversaries of Preparing Students for Workforce Careers

The School Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) is proud to announce its 25/10 year anniversary — an anniversary celebrating 25 years of inaugurating and developing school-business partnerships, and 10 years of sponsoring the LI FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition to better prepare students for entering the workforce and establishing their career paths in math, science-engineering and technology fields.

“We were the first organization to introduce the concept and development of school partnerships on Long Island,” said Fred Breithut, SBPLI’s president and founder. “We are very proud to celebrate our 25th anniversary and 10th anniversary for SBPLI and LI FIRST Robotics, respectively.”

The School-Business Partnerships of Long Island is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1984 establishing programs which link high schools and businesses throughout Long Island. Since then, the critical mission of SBPLI has been to impact the schools with the skills necessary for their success in helping students to be successful in their post-secondary/college careers.

In 1999, SBPLI founded LI FIRST for the purpose of developing a Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics competition. The Long Island Regional has grown from 8 teams (school districts) in 1999 to 46 in 2008. The increase in participation among high school students and local business demonstrates the importance of supporting the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.

“Over the past 25 years, the mission of the SBPLI has evolved,” said Fred Breithut, founder of SBPLI. “The LI FIRST Robotics competition has also proven to be a huge success, in terms of getting schoolchildren interested in the fields of science and technology. This will make our region and our country more competitive in the global workforce of the future.”

School Construction Consultants, Inc. of Bohemia has been involved in many SBPLI projects over the years. “SBPLI has pioneered the concept of connecting local business leaders, who have benefited from being a part of Long Island commerce and industry, with school district students and administration,” said William Recce, a principal with School Construction Consultants, Inc. “The advantages are on both sides. The students benefit from programs that enrich their lives and continue their growth. Businesses benefit from the development of young men and women who will one day become an important contributing member of the Long Island workforce and community.”

“Being a part of the LI FIRST Robotics Competition enables us to work first-hand with the leaders of tomorrow. Having an impact on these students and possibly impacting their career decisions toward math and science is extremely rewarding,” Mr. Recce said. “It is our hope that fostering a love of technology and related fields will help steer them toward rewarding careers that will enable them to choose to remain a part of the Long Island community.”

“The School Business Partnership of Long Island, Inc. Long Island FIRST Robotics program is an amazing example of students working with students, school staff and professional engineers in a competitive environment that combines technological and engineering knowledge with sportsmanship, professionalism, strategic thinking and, most of all, teamwork,” said Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, Superintendent of Schools, Hauppauge Union Free School District. “Our district is proud to be among the many Long Island school districts that sponsors a robotics team and robotics club. We know that we are creating life-long memories as well as career focuses for our students!”