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Hudson Valley Community College Department Chair to Speak Before U.S. Congress about Renewable Energy

CONTACT: Janine Kava or Jason McCord (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Professor Joseph T. Sarubbi\'s testimony
Professor Joseph T. Sarubbi\'s biography

Joseph Sarubbi, a professor and chairman of the Building Systems Technology Department at Hudson Valley Community College, testified this morning (Tuesday, June 19) before the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment about the need to invest in developing a workforce for the renewable energies field, particularly in the area of solar cell technology.

A leader in the field of solar cell education and training, Sarubbi was invited to testify at the subcommittee’s hearing on “Research, Education and Training Programs to Facilitate Adoption of Solar Energy Technologies.” The hearing was held from 10 a.m. to noon; click here to access the subcommittee’s Web site.

Jane M Weissman, executive director of the Latham-based Interstate Renewable Energy Council, an agency with which the college partners, forwarded Sarubbi’s name to the subcommittee. Weissman also testified at the hearing.

The subcommittee is part of the House’s Committee on Science and Technology, which is chaired by Representative Bart Gordon of Tennessee. The hearing was held as representatives consider whether to increase federal funding to create training and workforce development programs for solar and other renewable energies.

Hudson Valley Community College has offered solar cell – formally known as photovoltaic – training since 2005, when it partnered with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to create the first-of-its-kind photovoltaic installation and maintenance training program in the region.

“The timing is right for our country to invest in renewable energy technologies and develop a workforce that will meet the demands of the ever growing solar energy industry,” Sarubbi said.

The college first offered photovoltaic training through a four-course sequence in its Electrical Construction and Maintenance associate’s degree program, allowing students to augment traditional skills with those in emerging technologies.

Beginning this fall, the college will offer a Photovoltaic Installation certificate, a year-long, five-course program exclusively designed to train students for work in the field. Electrical Construction and Maintenance students will continue to have the opportunity to take photovoltaic courses through their associate’s degree program.

Through a strong partnership with NYSERDA and local and national photovoltaic manufacturers, Hudson Valley has emerged as a leader in developing credit and non-credit instructional programs in renewable energy technology in the areas of photovoltaic installation and energy efficiency. The college is currently developing training programs for the installation and maintenance of geothermal heat pumps and wind energy systems.

Sarubbi has more than 35 years of experience in education and the electrical construction and maintenance industry, and has more than 20 years of experience developing customized training programs for firms such as General Electric, Owens Corning, National Grid, and Georgia Pacific.

Under his leadership, Hudson Valley also hosted in 2006 the first-ever Renewable Energy and Efficiency Workforce Education: A National Conference for Educators and Trainers, which was attended by individuals from 30 states and six countries. The college will host the conference again in March 2008.

Sarubbi has been a faculty member at Hudson Valley for 28 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in vocational technical education from the State University of New York Institute of Technology in Utica and a master’s degree in education administration and policy from the University at Albany. He also earned his journeyman electrician certificate through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 associate’s degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.