star seal 3starSTAR Communities announced that Albany has been awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability. In June of 2014, the city became the 11th in the nation to receive recognition from STAR Communities, which evaluates the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities. STAR Communities is a national leader in rating sustainability efforts of cities, towns, and counties; its national ratings program helps communities evaluate themselves in seven areas related to sustainability, such as "Climate and Energy," "Built Environment," and "Economy and Jobs." Several efforts stood out among Albany's sustainability initiatives: business retention and development, targeted workforce development initiatives, green infrastructure and innovative historic preservation programs. "Albany should be applauded for its commitment to sustainability, and for the clarity and transparency provided while achieving its goals," said Halari Varnadore, executive director of STAR Communities.