Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed launch partnership with YouthBuild USA

Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed are joining forces with YouthBuild USA to support its green education and job-training programme for low-income youth. At a national kick-off event held in Philadelphia, S…

Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed are joining forces with YouthBuild USA to support its green education and job-training programme for low-income youth. At a national kick-off event held in Philadelphia, Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed announced they are providing a three-year, USD 550,000 grant to support YouthBuild USA and its Green Initiative programme. As the world“s largest building materials company, Saint-Gobain is committed to helping communities build and renovate energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy, cost-efficient and durable buildings, said Gilles Colas, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain in North America. With the help of our subsidiary CertainTeed, North America“s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, we hope to help YouthBuild USA achieve its mission of rebuilding the lives and communities of low-income, disconnected young adults, through its green building and job training programme. In addition to funding from the Saint Gobain Corporation Foundation, the three-year partnership includes a commitment to provide energy-efficient products, building science and technical expertise, employee volunteer support and more. The partnership will support YouthBuild USA in its national efforts as well as undertake green home renovation projects in four local communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations, including: YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), YouthBuild Akron Summit (Akron, Ohio), YouthBuild Schenectady (Schenectady, New York), and Worcester YouthBuild (Worcester, Massachusetts). Each of the four local YouthBuild programmes will receive USD 100,000 in pass-through grants over the next three years to engage YouthBuild students to learn green building techniques and build energy-efficient affordable housing. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed employees based in these communities will volunteer to assist YouthBuild students in renovating green homes. Ten thousand disadvantaged 16- to 24-year-olds work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas annually in YouthBuild programmes. These young adults learn job skills by building affordable, and increasingly green, housing for homeless people and low-income families. Since 1994, approximately 100,000 YouthBuild students have built 20,000 housing units across the country. Through the YouthBuild USA Green Initiative, YouthBuild students build green, energy-efficient and healthy homes in their neighbourhoods, gain green job skills and industry-recognized credentials, and develop environmentally focused leadership skills. YouthBuild homes are increasingly earning high ratings from Energy Star Homes, the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Built, National Association of Home Builders and other local and regional green building associations. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed are playing a key role in helping prepare YouthBuild students for jobs and entrepreneurship in the green economy, said Dorothy Stoneman, president and founder of YouthBuild USA. This crucial support enables local YouthBuild programmes to reach more young people who are out-of-work and out-of-school, providing leadership and life skills, as well as preparing them for careers in construction and other fields. The YouthBuild Philadelphia green home renovation project at 4620 Greene Street was the location for the kick-off of this national partnership. The project, which will be seeking LEED certification from the US Green Building Council, will consist of the green renovation of a dilapidated building, vacant for nearly 20 years. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Services, Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed.