The meeting addressed today's "going gree" environment and urged a larger green workforce.

On July 24, Wales-Darby Inc. was host to the first meeting of the Green Island Coalition at the company’s Energy Learning Center in Islandia, NY. The meeting addressed the Island's role in today’s going-green environment. The organization -concerned with public health and cost-effective sustainability - consists of union reps, corporate powers and Island-wide policymakers.

The Coalition champions several simple concepts: "Greening" is an ecological imperative, there are billions of dollars in grants and tax incentives available for environmentally friendly construction projects, the region's residential and commercial property owners should pounce and when they do, the jobs they create must go to Long Islanders.

Endorsing the Green Island Coalition was Jo Keirns, executive director of the Washington, DC-based Green Mechanical Council. Bringing the Green Island Coalition to fruition was Manorville, NY-based Green Synergy Systems, Matt Ferber, Angelo D’Alessandro and Joe Morganti. Others supporting and in attendance were Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan, Long Island Islip McArthur Airport Commissioner Teresa Rizzuto and several labor-union principals. Also involved were Islip Councilman Gene Parrington, Wales-Darby President Brian Darby, New Media Marketing Vice President Joseph Lapiana, as well as Deputy McArthur Commissioner Eric Hofmeister and Steve Levine, President and CEO of AtmosAir Solutions/Clean Air Group.

"There's a small window of opportunity here," Ferber noted. "There will never be a time like this again. This is the time to show the homeowner and the property manager and the builder that going green is the most affordable way to reduce your energy bills by up to 70 percent."

Keirns noted similarities between the Coalition's mission and the work of the Green Mechanical Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and promotion of environmentally sound residential and commercial mechanical systems. The Council recently announced Wales-Darby, the HVAC and plumbing titan known for its Energy Learning Center and other environmental efforts, as its latest member organization.

"With all facets of the industry working together, government officials, union members, educators, nonprofits and manufacturers, etc., we can educate and train a larger green workforce, along with generating green job opportunities and ensuring sustainable, energy efficient buildings," Keirns stated. "Working as a team we can also keep costs for the construction, along with operating and maintaining the facility to a minimum."

Among the topics discussed at the inaugural meeting was McArthur Airport's Waste-to-Energy Facility, which generates electricity while annually eliminating hundreds of thousands of tons of trash. Islip officials are eyeing some aide in federal grants for a major expansion effort, one of about 15 regional projects on the Green Island Coalition's radar.

Other projects topping the Coalition's to-do list include the vast Heartland Town Center residential/commercial development on the former grounds of the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital and several Island projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A second Green Island Coalition meeting is planned for the late fall.

Source: Green Mechanical Council