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12/17/2010
Hudson Valley Community College Foundation Funds New Scholarship with Aid from New York Propane Gas Association

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180, d.renfrew@hvcc.edu
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

The Hudson Valley Community College Foundation announced a new scholarship funded by a gift of $12,000 from the New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) for students enrolled full time in the college's Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technical Services (HVAC/R) Program.

Four $1,500 scholarships will be awarded in fall 2011 to help provide more qualified, well-trained technicians to meet the labor needs of the growing propane industry, particularly in upstate New York. Recipients will be second-year, full-time HVAV/R students who demonstrate financial need, with preference given to those interested in propane technology. Students who maintain enrollment in the program may renew the scholarship for their final semester.

Approved as an alternative, clean fuel by both the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Clean Air Act of 1990, propane is currently in use in nearly five million households in the U.S. for heating. That number is growing nationwide and especially in New York State, according to NYPGA. Propane gives off minimal emissions when burned and is not harmful in the ground or waterways.

Hudson Valley's HVAC/R program, known for its unique combination of lecture and hands-on training in state-of-the-art laboratories, prepares students to enter the industry with a background in design, installation and service of commercial and residential heating and cooling systems.

"It is a thrill for the Foundation to form this new partnership with the New York Propane Gas Association," said Rachel M. Kimmelblatt, chief financial officer for the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation. "This gift will help a Capital Region industry by facilitating the training of its labor force."

NYPGA is a member-focused trade organization providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in New York. The association was formed in 1948 to offer opportunities for training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

"The New York Propane Gas Association Scholarship at Hudson Valley represents the first award that we will establish at community colleges to train new technicians in the safe storage, handling and use of propane so they can join hundreds of industry personnel educated under the industry's extensive training programs throughout the country," said Joseph Porco, president of the association. He credited the industry's Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) for funding that provides each state with rebates based on its use of propane and its contribution to PERC. "More funding will be forthcoming if New York approves a similar program known as Empire PERC," Porco continued.

Anyone interested in establishing a scholarship can call the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation at (518) 629-8012 or visit www.hvcc.edu/giving/scholarships.html.

The Hudson Valley Community College Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable corporation, formed in 1983 to philanthropically support the college's mission. Gifts to the Foundation from alumni, corporations and friends are used to enhance programs, facilities and scholarship opportunities at the college.

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, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 14,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.