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For Immediate Release
July 30, 2014

National Expert Advises Suffolk About Program and Curricula Planning for Coming $19.5 Million STEM Building

Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun McKay, at left, is joined by Nicholas Palumbo, Executive Director College Sustainability Programs, center, and Roger Ebbage, at right, Director of the Northwest Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College, Eugene Oregon as they survey a plan and the site where Suffolk’s new two-story, 33,792- square-foot Renewable Energy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center will be built on the College’s  Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood.

Ebbage made the Energy Management Program at Oregon's Lane Community College a national model and has been a technical advisor on a number of national and international curriculum development projects. Ebbage visited Suffolk as preparations are underway to program curricula and classes for Suffolk’s new building that will be the first of its kind in the state community college system. Ebbage’s visit was paid for by the American Association of Community Colleges.

“Energy efficiency programs are in very high demand,” said Ebbage, adding “and so much so that if there were a program in every state it would not fulfill the demand. Suffolk County Community College will be well positioned to help produce the workforce needed in these emerging fields.”

"The College's approach is far-reaching and will set Suffolk County apart from others in the state," McKay said and added that the center would help meet "the workforce needs of area businesses by increasing the pool of workers that are skilled in renewable energy systems and energy management, among other professions.”

"Renewable energy technologies are a rapidly expanding component of Long Island's economy and offer great career opportunities for our students.  Our new facility will help us prepare them for those careers which will in turn have a tremendous benefit for the environment,” said Nicholas Palumbo, Executive Director College Sustainability Programs.

The new facility will house laboratories and classrooms to teach installation, maintenance and repair of solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal and other green power technologies, according to Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay who said plans call for the building to be solar-powered with geothermal heating and would contain a prototype solar house on rails that could be used indoors or rolled outside to test various renewable energy materials.

Construction on the new building will commence when anticipated corrective state legislation is passed reinstating state funding that was inadvertently left out of the New York State budget.