MLK Day of Service 2019

Saint-Gobain volunteers partnered with YouthBuild Philadelphia on Monday, January 21, for their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to participate in various beautification projects at a West Mt. Airy elementary school.

All volunteers gathered in the auditorium of F.S. Edmond’s to kick off the day and get excited about honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

It is now a tradition four years in the making for Saint-Gobain volunteers to come together with our affiliates at YouthBuild Philadelphia to celebrate this national day of service honoring Dr. King and his legacy.

This year, approximately 20 Saint-Gobain volunteers gathered alongside YouthBuild Philadelphia, AmeriCorps, and other non-profit organizations at the Franklin S. Edmonds Elementary school for our fourth annual MLK Day of Service.

Throughout the day, volunteers completed a multitude of projects inside the school: more than 70 murals were painted throughout hallways and bathroom stalls, the school library was entirely revamped, a new library check-in system and the school’s emotional support room were created.
Thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of the 200+ volunteers, more than 600 students at F.S. Edmonds from Pre-K through 8th grade will enjoy a positive, more vibrant learning environment.

We are truly grateful to everyone who volunteered their time to come out and help make a difference.

Cheers to another successful day of giving back during our annual MLK Day of Service to turn Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream into action the #YBWay!

Check out some more photos of the 2019 MLK Day of Service below!

We look forward to celebrating again during next year’s annual MLK Day of Service.


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YouthBuild is headed to Greenbuild 2017!

YouthBuild will be in Boston for Greenbuild 2017: All In, the world’s largest green building conference and expo, November 7-10, 2017 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

YouthBuild will have a significant presence at Greenbuild 2017, including:

  • Welcoming students, graduates and staff from more than 15 YouthBuild programs across the northeast.
  • Hosting a booth on the expo floor! Be sure to stop by Booth #2730 to speak with YouthBuild graduates and students about opportunities to partner with local YouthBuild programs and YouthBuild USA’s Green Initiative.
  • YouthBuild’s CEO, John Valverde, will be a keynote speaker for the U.S. Green Building Council ‘s annual Communities and Affordable Homes Summit, which will be held on Tuesday, November 7.
  • YouthBuild’s founder Dorothy Stoneman has been named a 2017 USGBC Leadership Award recipient. Dorothy will be recognized during Greenbuild’s Leadership Awards Luncheon on Thursday, November 9. The Leadership Awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that embody vision, leadership, and commitment to the evolution of green buildings and communities as a vehicle to enhance quality of life.

Since 2010, YouthBuild USA and the U.S. Green Building Council have partnered to engage YouthBuild participants at Greenbuild.

For more information on YouthBuild, visit, and follow @YB_Green on Twitter for live updates.

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Worcester YouthBuild Graduation!

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, twenty-five students took the stage to celebrate graduating from the Worcester YouthBuild Program, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc. The ceremony took place at Mechanics Hall, (Washburn Hall) 321 Main Street, Worcester, MA. Representative James J. O’Day, an ardent supporter of YouthBuild, was the keynote speaker.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 on this momentous accomplishment! We are very proud of each and every one of you and wish you all the best as you embark on your journey into the future.

Check out the Training Resource of America‘s take on the day here.

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Scientist in the Classroom: Worcester YouthBuild students learn about thermal imaging

This summer, David Gebb, Senior Research Engineer at Saint-Gobain’s Research and Development Center in Northboro, visited students at the Worcester YouthBuild to demonstrate and discuss thermal imaging and the functions of infrared cameras.

David talked about how the technology works to measure heat, with students fascinated by how long body temperature stays on an object once a person walks away from the area.

In fact, did you know that even if an object appears to be redder than another, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the object is hotter?  What’s more is that you cannot see heat in the air, only off of objects! This was really cool to learn!

Through the use of the infrared camera, David showed the students how you can “write” on the wall since the camera picks up the heat coming from his hands!

It was clear from the students that David takes tremendous pride in this work and enjoys what he does for a living at Saint-Gobain.


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Frazer Street Insulation Training


At Project Rebuild, a CertainTeed Insulation employee, Ed,  traveled all the way from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Canton, Ohio to demonstrate how to install insulation at the  Frazer Street house to Project Rebuild students.  This took place on Tuesday, July 11th and Wednesday, July 12th 2017.  Here are several responses from students about the experience. . .

“Ed traveled from Pennsylvania to work with the YouthBuild here in Canton, Ohio. He gave us the opportunity to learn how to install insulation in the Frazer house we are currently working on. He spent two days with us. On the first day, he spent approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes explaining the safety basic training rules in our classroom, located at the Project Rebuild worksite.

During the insulation training session, we were taught what we needed to wear and what we needed to do, which was basically the mandatory equipment you would need for installing insulation. We also learned what density equaled.  First, you typically need to wear eye protection to prevent irritation in your eyes.  Second, you need to wear gloves so you don’t have direct contact with the insulation. Third, you will need to wear a dust mask to make sure you’re not breathing in the dust that floats out of the fabric.

After the basic safety training, we went down to the Frazer project where Ed demonstrated what we needed to do so we understood what we had to complete.  We learned about the house just in case the buyer asked us about what we were working on. When we learned how to put up the fabric, that’s when we learned how to make sure 6 inches were left off both of the sides of the fabric. It was by far a great work experience. Overall, I enjoyed working with Ed!

– Breanna Rivera


 “While taking part in Project Rebuild with Ed (who works for CertainTeed, which is owned by Saint-Gobain), I learned how to install insulation on the second floor at Frazer.  I also learned that the density of the insulation is supposed to be 1.8 and the formula is d=w/v.  The main purpose of this training session was to practice using the formula so we can have the knowledge to install the insulation on our own.                

During our training, we had to use safety masks, safety glasses and gloves.  The fabric that was used for insulation was about an inch and a half, and on each side we had to hang the fabric up on the ceiling using staples.  Joe taught me how to hang up the fabric, and it was only supposed to be an inch and a half apart from each other.  These were all of the components I learned that goes into installing insulation.”

– Shaquan McGough           

“On Tuesday, July 11th and Wednesday, July 12th, we were lucky enough to have a professional insulation installer named Ed come in to visit us at Project Rebuild and show us exactly how his job is done. 

First, Ed taught us in the classroom so we would know what we were doing when it came time to use the insulation blower machine.  He let us know that it is important to use safety glasses while operating the machine.  He taught us how to lay fabric on the inside of the houses, on the outside of the studs, to keep the insulation in one place. 

He also taught us that if we put enough training into something, we can be just as skilled as anyone in that field of work.  Ed works for CertainTeed, which is a company who makes insulation.  At the job site, we learned the insulation blower works by taking a hose and hooking it to the machine, then taking it to the fabric you laid over top of the studs, and using black PVC and attaching it to the other side of the hose. You then insert it into the fabric, which allows you to fill the space with insulation.  

Ed was even nice enough to buy lunch for the Project Rebuild members and staff during classroom training.  He was a good instructor and we hope to see him again!

-Jmon Mohr

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YouthBuild Worcester continues to welcome Scientists in the Classroom

Recently, YouthBuild Worcester students participated in three Scientists in the Classroom sessions led by engineers from the Saint-Gobain Research & Development Center in Northboro.

Mithun Kamath, Senior Research Engineer, focused his presentation on life goals and pursuing one’s dream. Raised in India, he came from a family who just made enough money to make ends meet and realized in order to grow he needed to change his life. Due to financial constraints, he had to wait five years before starting school at UMass Lowell to pursue his dream job in plastics engineering. Mithun explained to the students that even if they come from very little, they can still work to achieve what they want to do in life.

Steven Jacek, Research Engineer, enthusiastically walked through his day working in the lab. He shared several samples of construction and consumer materials and explained how those materials were created. His presentation ended with a fun activity which encouraged students to make the most products out of the materials they were provided to them—something Steven does on a daily basis!

Rachel Pytel, Senior Principal Scientist for CertainTeed R&D, and Linda Bateman, Senior Technical Specialist for Superabrasives R&D, also visited YouthBuild Worcester and shared their inspiring personal and professional journeys. Together, they led a detailed demonstration on how CertainTeed shingles are designed, made and tested.

YouthBuild Worcester is grateful to Mithun, Steven, Rachel and Linda for taking the time to share their experiences, wisdom and knowledge with the students.

Thank you Mithun, Steven, Rachel, Linda and Saint-Gobain!

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Project REBUILD: Frazier Street

Written by: Raina Wilson

On April 18th, 2017, our team at Project REBUILD Inc. was working on site at the Frazier Street project. Our main goal was to get the roof up and covered by end of day. The main reason for this was due to the weather. Even though rain and gusty winds were our opponent, we were still successful in achieving our goal. Once the trusses were up, it was time to put up the Ice Guard and Diamond Deck®. Ice Guard material helps in protecting from wind driven rains an ice buildup. Diamond Deck® is a “high performance synthetic underlayment and is manufactured to provide best-in-class performance in terms of both weather protection and contractor safety” (CertainTeed). Check out some of the photos below to see some of our progress on this exciting project!

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