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Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Announces United Way of Long Island Moving Forward with Building-Science "Lab House" Project

Project Will Provide Critical Pathway to Clean Energy Career Opportunities, Local Learning Lab for Long Island Students

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) today announced the United Way of Long Island (UWLI) is moving forward with its building-science lab house project on the strength of a $250,000 award through the second round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council Initiative. The resources will be used to construct an interactive two-story “lab-house” to provide students with hands-on, energy-related training opportunities and certification programs.

Building-science lab houses, also known as pressure houses, are built and outfitted so the entire dwelling becomes a building-science laboratory, demonstrating energy loss issues and other problems faced by those working in energy efficiency fields.

“I commend UWLI for its efforts to utilize a cohesive education and workforce training strategy to retool New York’s workforce,” said Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association and LIREDC Co-chair. “By preparing students with these critical skills, UWLI is helping to establish New York as a national leader in building a clean- tech economy.”

“This training facility is a reflection of UWLI’s commitment to providing students in the Long Island community with real-life, learning opportunities in the growing energy sector,” said Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University and LIREDC Co-chair. “A clean-energy, skilled labor force is essential as we continue to build the next generation workforce in New York State.”

The lab house will be a valuable resource for participants in YouthBuild, a program that serves low-income, out-of-school, unemployed young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, and VetsBuild, which serves returning veterans from IRAQ and Afghanistan. Industry professionals can also obtain continuing education units (CEUs) through training programs at the lab house.

This is one of five such facilities being developed across New York State with NYSERDA funding to increase regional access to hands-on field training and testing facilities that prepare energy-efficiency workers for certifications. The other NYSERDA-funded lab houses are located in Queens, Schenectady, Plattsburgh and Stone Ridge and were funded through the Green Jobs- Green New York Program.

The lab house will be located within UWLI’s E3 Center for Energy Efficiency, a 5,000-square-foot training center located in Deer Park. Construction is expected to be completed in September 2013. The E3 Center is preparing students for careers in the high-growth, high-demand green construction field.

Volunteers, staff and YouthBuild Long Island students will construct the lab house, which is expected to be completed September 2013.

“This lab house will significantly expand United Way of Long Island’s educational platform by providing young adults with a venue in which they can receive hands-on energy efficiency training,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “By offering this valuable training along with sustainable building practices, UWLI is preparing students for rewarding careers in the building sciences and aligning with Governor Cuomo’s efforts to ensure New York has a skilled energy workforce.”

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity NYSERDA has presented to further develop our education initiative,” said Theresa Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “The lab house NYSERDA is funding will increase the depth of the training we provide our students in energy efficiency and green construction, and will facilitate greater opportunities in the job market for our students.”

UWLI is providing $94,750 of in-kind direct labor support to the development and operation of the lab house over the first three years.

Using hands-on training activities and interactive learning strategies, credentialed trainers will instruct students on energy-efficient building techniques using state-of-the-art industry equipment and materials in a controlled lab environment. Features include energy-efficient HVAC systems, lighting and appliances, working replications of walls, floors, attic, roof and crawl space systems. Students will also have the opportunity to troubleshoot indoor air quality and moisture-related issues.

A total of 120 students are expected to be trained at the lab house during the first three years of operation.

After receiving practical training at the lab house, many students will have the opportunity to work in teams with local contractors to construct homes that provide energy savings and healthy indoor environments to the residents that need it the most. Local company partners include American AWS, DSI Associates, Inc., Murtha Construction, PowerSmith Home Energy Solutions and Econo-Therm Insulation.

The On-the-Job Training (OJT) component of United Way of Long Island’s E3 Center will complement knowledge and skills developed at the lab house. Using state-of-the-art industry equipment and tools, students will get valuable real-world skills working on actual residential job sites.

“As energy-efficiency becomes increasingly valuable, this state-of-the-art facility will be a welcome addition to our community,” said Senator Phil Boyle. “The lab house will offer Long Island students new opportunities to be at the forefront of energy-related innovations, and I thank UWLI for their leadership in this endeavor.”

“Projects like these that build up job training opportunities are absolutely invaluable to Long Island and this state,” said Assemblyman Andrew Raia. “By offering this modern training in energy efficiency and green building practices, we not only continue the critical work of helping our environment, but provide valuable life experience for those who participate. I want to thank NYSERDA for the funding and UWLI for continuing its work in green job training and education.”

For locations across the state of energy-efficiency and renewable energy training programs supported by NYSERDA, visit

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in job creation and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After two rounds of competitive awards, nearly 1,500 projects are receiving support to create new jobs, grow the economy, and restore New York State as the Empire State. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

For More Information on United Way of Long Island's YouthBuild Program Click Here: