At a national kick-off event today in Philadelphia, Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed announced they are providing a three-year, $550,000 grant to support YouthBuild USA and its Green Initiative program.
“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 program.”
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 programs will receive $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 programs. 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 neighborhoods, 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 programs 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.
About Saint-Gobain in North America/Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The company has over 330 locations in North America, and approximately 19,000 employees. Saint-Gobain businesses in North America include CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, and Norton, the largest global manufacturer and supplier of performance engineered abrasives. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.8 billion in 2009. In 2009 and 2010, Saint-Gobain was named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a national award that recognizes environmentally responsible corporations. For information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com
The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the communities in which Saint-Gobain operates, and in which its employees live and work. Saint-Gobain has set out to be the worldwide leader in sustainable “Habitat,” inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, cost-efficient and durable buildings. Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation support non-profits that align closely with this strategy through programs such as YouthBuild that engage youth and communities in green building and renovation.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers. A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2009. www.certainteed.com
About YouthBuild and YouthBuild USA
YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities--housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work full-time for 6 to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable, increasingly green, housing for homeless and low-income people and participating in leadership development activities in their communities. YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations and public entities that raise funds from a variety of sources. Primary funding for local YouthBuild programs comes from the U.S. Department of Labor under the federal YouthBuild program, authorized under the Workforce Investment Act and administered by the Employment and Training Administration. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. 100,000 YouthBuild students have built 20,000 units of affordable, increasing green, housing since 1994.
YouthBuild USA is a national nonprofit organization that works to unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives. YouthBuild USA leads the national YouthBuild movement and contributes to the broader youth and community development fields in order to diminish poverty in the United States and internationally. The U.S. Department of Labor contracts with YouthBuild USA to provide training and technical assistance to its YouthBuild grantees. For more information, visit http://www.youthbuild.org.