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NORTHBROOK, Ill., September 16, 2008 — Lt. Governor Garamendi toured Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) new photovoltaic (PV) testing and certification facility in San Jose, California on Monday before unveiling his model to train Californians for jobs in the solar industry by creating partnerships between solar companies, colleges and labor. Garamendi gave UL high praise for its consistent efforts in growing new energy alternatives and demonstrating best practices in the solar industry.
Garamendi said UL has created a model partnership between the solar industry and colleges that other companies can mirror to train Californians for solar jobs. Companies like UL can help the colleges develop curriculum, provide on-the-job internship programs and be instrumental in job placement.
"Underwriters Laboratories has been instrumental in bringing job growth to the Bay area. The company is a great inspiration to solar companies around the state," said Garamendi. "This is an industry that is growing quickly and it’s imperative that we not only have testing facilities such as this, but that we also are providing training opportunities through our colleges and universities."
"UL has long believed the growth of this crucial industry must be coupled with services and thought leadership that will help it continue growing at a rapid pace, said Bill Colavecchio, vice president and general manager of UL’s Global Industrial Products Sector. "When our organization was founded 114 years ago, electricity was considered ‘new.’ A similar new technology theme exists today as solar energy has transformed the way we produce electricity. It is natural that UL would take a leadership role in solar, just as we did with electricity in the late 1800s."
Opened in July, UL’s 20,000 square-foot facility has been widely recognized by industry leaders as a first step in providing much-needed global capacity for testing and certification. Namely, UL has created an increased portfolio of services and streamlined its testing processes to help manufacturers get UL-Listed PV products to market faster.
Colavecchio said UL is enthusiastic to be part of the solution of growing this industry not just in the short term, but also moving forward by partnering with colleges and universities to fill the ever-growing need for technicians and engineers in the solar industry. One of the testing and certification organization’s goals in opening the facility was to provide guidance and expertise in advancing the science of safety by working with educators to introduce solar product safety engineering into undergraduate curriculum and providing opportunities for internships and mentoring for future safety engineers.
"It’s the intent of the San Jose Green Vision to grow 25,000 new clean tech jobs within the next 15 years," said Paul Krutko, Chief Development Officer for the City of San Jose. "Instrumental to this will be attracting new solar companies to provide and innovators to the city. Partnering with colleges to provide the training that ensures a rich pipeline of green collar talent is crucial to this success.
By locating the testing facility in San Jose, UL knows it will be well served by the State of California’s assertiveness in promoting the installation of solar throughout the state and its enacted legislation that provides incentives to spur the market’s rapid growth. San Jose is one of the world’s leading center of innovation, an ideal location to establish continued partnerships while working toward the common good – providing the United States and the world with safe, alternative, and most important, renewable sources of energy.
UL’s Photovoltaic Technology Center of Excellence is located at 2191 Zanker Rd. in North San Jose, Calif.
For more information on UL’s PV services, visit: https://www.ul.com You can also contact UL’s Customer Service representatives at +1 877-UL-HELPS.
For information on the Solar America Initiative, visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/solar_america/index.html and Solar America Board for Codes and Standards at http://www.solarabcs.org/.
For more information on the City of San Jose’s Green Vision, visit: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/pdf/SanJoseGreenVision.pdf.
For more information on the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, visit: www.svlg.net.