September 16, 2008

Lieutenant Governor of California Commends Underwriters Laboratories for Industry Best Practice

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 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 centers 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: You can also contact UL's Customer Service representatives at +1 877-UL-HELPS.

For information on the Solar America Initiative, visit: and Solar America Board for Codes and Standards at

For more information on the City of San Jose's Green Vision, visit:

For more information on the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, visit:

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 21 billion UL Marks appearing on 71,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 63 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 99 countries. UL is also the only National Certification Body (NCB) for PV in North America and an OSHA-accredited Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). For more information, visit

About the City of San Jose

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit,

    Joe Hirschmugl    Global Media Relations Manager    Underwriters Laboratories    Phone: +1 847-664-1508    Email: [email protected]     Tina Janczura    PR Counsel    Underwriters Laboratories    Phone: +1 312-729-4349    Email: [email protected]  

Underwriters Laboratories

CONTACT: Joe Hirschmugl, Global Media Relations Manager of UnderwritersLaboratories, +1-847-664-1508, [email protected]; or TinaJanczura, PR Counsel, +1-312-729-4349, [email protected], forUnderwriters Laboratories

Web site: