Employees Team Up With Project Rebuild for EHS Day 2016

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (PPL) and Project Rebuild celebrated Saint-Gobain’s International Environment, Health and Safety Day by constructing a bench made out of reclaimed wood from our partnership house on Frazer Ave in Canton, OH.

Project Rebuild students visited the PPL headquarters in Solon, OH, to help employees with the project. The project started with introductions and a discussion with Kristin Wilson, PPL’s Human Resources Manager, followed by the bench project.

Students and employees worked together side-by-side to build the bench.

The bench is now a part of the Solon campus, as the students left it as a token of appreciation for our partnership.

To see highlights from the project, click here

 

 

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Scientist in the Classroom continues with cycle 3

Saint-Gobain continued its STEM education partnership with YouthBuild Worcester by kicking off its third cycle of Scientist in the Classroom.

The Scientists in the Classroom series was designed to bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education to YouthBuild Worcester students, by allowing Saint-Gobain’s Northboro R&D employees to participate as  volunteers. Northboro volunteers bring their STEM backgrounds and expertise to YouthBuild students by teaching STEM lessons to students in the classroom.


CertainTeed Senior Principal Scientist, Rachel Pytel and super abrasives  Senior Technical Specialist, Linda Bateman  shared their personal career journeys, which inspired both the students and staff.  Volunteers conducted a lesson on “Introduction to Thermal Expansion” with included demonstrations utilizing CertainTeed siding as well as various exercises in area and expansion.  The presentation was informative, fun and an overall great learning experience for all involved!

Check out some of the student’s reactions from the day below to see just how inspired
and motivated they felt after a day of being with “Scientists in the Classroom”!

 “It makes me want to go to the job site!”
- Alex Tayler

“I will look at houses differently now.  I learned so much about hot and cold temperatures.”
- Kosta Tziarbas

“Now I am interested in building houses with the materials we learned about.  It’s all so interesting!  Thank you!”
- Jordan Martinez

Click here to check out a video recapping the day. What a perfect way to kick off the 2016 series!

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Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics President is inspired by Leonard

In late April, we officially kicked off our partnership with YouthBuild Canton at a pep-rally style event attending by nearly 50 people, including the Mayor of Canton, followed by a volunteer service project –we had about 10 PPL employees working hard in providing sweat equity on the project.

Tom Kinisky, President of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics,  did a great job as our speaker.  He was inspiring…and he too was clearly inspired…see below for a blog he wrote on My Saint-Gobain following the event…thanks again Tom!


Tom’s Blog:

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the annual breakfast meeting of Project REBUILD in Canton, Ohio.  Project REBUILD is a non-profit agency that re-engages at-risk youth to complete a high school diploma or GED and acquire marketable skills in construction technologies through the rehabilitation or construction of affordable housing.  Together with Project REBUILD and YouthBuild-USA, we are supporting a project to rebuild a home in Canton, Ohio.  I was asked to represent Saint-Gobain at the breakfast meeting and to speak about the project and our affiliation with YouthBuild.

At our table was a young man named Leonard, who is currently enrolled in the Project REBUILD program.  He is about 5 months into a 9 month program.  Everyone at the table was asking him a lot of questions about his experience in the program and what he was going to do when he finished.  He told us how he was going to work at a local construction company and that he was also going to get his license to be a welder.  However, his real goal was to go to college and get a degree in social work so that he can help others who are in a similar situation to him.  He was very articulate and seemed at ease and comfortable talking to a group of business people about his future and time in the program.

Then he was asked how he got involved in Project REBUILD.  He said he learned about it from a friend who had gone through the program and thought it was so great.  We asked what the friend is doing now – thinking he had graduated and gone on to a new career.  Leonard said matter-of-factly – his friend didn’t last on the outside too long, especially after he left the project REBUILD program, and is now back in prison.  Then quickly added – that he would be different.  I suddenly realized how fragile life was for Leonard.  This well-spoken, focused, young man was trying so hard to make a different future for himself.

During my speech I mentioned Leonard and what a great spokesperson he was at our table for Project REBUILD.  Later we visited the house and as I was leaving he ran up to me and thanked me for giving him a shout-out during my speech – he was proud to be mentioned.  Then he told me how grateful he was for Saint-Gobain’s support and that I needed to come back to see the house finished.

It’s really inspiring to meet young people like Leonard who are working so hard for many of the opportunities most of us take for granted. I am glad we are part of this program. And, I will definitely go back to see the project.

Thanks to all the Performance Plastics people that volunteered to work on the house that day.  Life’s Material Difference takes on a new meaning in that context.

 

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CertainTeed takes the insulation training to San Joaquin

CertainTeed has continued to strengthen their ongoing partnership with YouthBuild and extended over to the west coast by initiating an insulation training with YouthBuild San Joaquin. The training took place at the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) campus of the San Joaquin Building Futures Academy over the course of two days during the end of March.  YouthBuild San Joaquin students had the chance to work with Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed trainers as well as two contractors from Sequoia Insulation, who provided specialized training in how to utilize a number of innovative, green building materials and products. The training provided an amazing educational opportunity for the YouthBuild students to not only get hands on experience but also enriching, inspirational advice pertaining to their future careers and goals.

Overall, there were a total of 10 YouthBuild San Joaquin students and four program alumni that participated in the training. The first day was focused on teaching the students how to install CertainTeed’s new Sustainable Insulation, which is meant to increase indoor air quality through the use of a plant-based binder. Ted Winslow and Bruce Hartzell, national trainers from CertainTeed, conducted the training. As part of the training, students competed in three groups to install the insulation. At the end of the day, the trainers critiqued the results, and each team was able to achieve industry standards!

 

The variation of skill level of the new YouthBuild students in comparison to the YouthBuild veterans allowed each student to learn from one another in an engaging, educational way through friendly competition. The students were able to learn an important career skill, receive a CertainTeed Insulation Installation Certification to keep in their portfolios and most importantly—they had fun doing so!

Winslow recalled, “We have done a lot of these events, but this one really stepped it up a notch.  The contractor even provided us feedback that CertainTeed is the only insulation manufacturer they know of that is engaged with and sponsoring programs like YouthBuild. ”

 

Perhaps the most amazing part about working with organizations like YouthBuild is that the experience is rewarding for everyone involved. CertainTeed Product Manger Ted Winslow, who helped train the students on how to install CertainTeed insulation, explained that, “This type of training is the most rewarding because it provides us with an opportunity to give back to a community in need.  Seeing the excitement in the students faces and the pride after they receive their certificates is quite remarkable and I feel honored to have such an opportunity to provide them potentially with a second chance in life through getting involved in the construction trades.  The industry demand is there for skilled laborers, especially for insulation, and these types of programs provide them with the ability to set themselves up for a successful career for many years to come.”

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YouthBuild Philly students learn to install window film on their school windows

Blinding sun glare, intense heat and fatigued students are the everyday challenges Ms. Willa faces as she teaches her language arts class at the YouthBuild Charter school in Philadelphia. Sometimes, she even wears sunglasses in order to see her students while teaching her lessons. 

Thankfully, through our amazing partnership with YouthBuild and Saint-Gobain, we were able to find a solution to Ms. Willa’s problem….Solar Gard.

Solar Gard, a subdivision of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, stepped in and donated window film to the school, and provided students with an installation training in order to teach them how to install window film  on their very own classrooms. Students worked side-by-side with Energy Initiatives, a local Philadelphia installer of window film, to install Solar Gard’s Panorama Slate 10 film, which tints and reduces sun glare and solar heat.   

After students and the Energy Initiatives team began to install the film, throughout the progress, there was a distinct shift in room temperature and sun glare in the space.

Now the classrooms are cooler and hold just the right amount of natural light. 

Students made a difference in their learning environment, while learning a valuable skill. 

Following the install, Jon Nickless, Solar Gard Territory Sales Manager and Nick DeCarlo, Business Development Manager at Energy Initiatives, presented to students on the importance of showing up on time, being driven and doing great work on the job site. Students asked questions and received valuable career advice, that can be taken with them throughout the rest of their careers. 

Thank you, to Saint-Gobain, Solar Gard, Energy Initiatives, and YouthBuild for a great experience for everyone involved. Until next time!

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Down with Vale and Up with Prospect

Hi everyone! Here is a major update from YouthBuild Schenectady!

It is with much enthusiasm that we announce YouthBuild Schenectady and SEAT will no longer be moving forward in rehabbing the 706 Vale Place, Schenectady, NY property.

Now before you freak out, here’s why – the home’s foundation had subsided and, in result, requires being knocked down for the possibility of a better and safer home to be built.

With that said, YouthBuild Schenectady and SEAT has decided to move forward with a new project located on 99 Prospect Street, Schenectady, NY!

Not only do we have a new location, but this will be Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild’s first time partnering on a new-build project. We’re starting from the ground up and we’re excited to get started!

Now, we’re in the process of formulating new construction plans and eager to get this started. YouthBuild Schenectady, Saint-Gobain and SEAT are extremely excited for this new project.

Stay tuned for more updates, as we build from the ground up on 99 Prospect Street.

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We Have A New Roof!

After years of neglect our house,  located on 1714 Frazer Ave NW, had a HUGE hole in the roof! Raccoons lived inside and rain flowed from the roof, through the home to the first floor BUT not anymore!

Luckily, we had good weather in December and were able to completely remove the 3rd floor level of the house and install new roof trusses.

We are grateful to have received help from a few of our partners! CertainTeed Roofing, Henderson Roofing and Construction, Canton Erectors, Beaver Excavating and Safety Resources of Ohio, supported the project and trained our team to handle the installation safely. We couldn’t have done it without them!

We’ve learned a lot of new things so far working on this project. For example, the donated roofing insulation provided by CertainTeed,  called Flintboard ISO NB, goes on top of the framing and under the shingles to provide additional insulation and thermal comfort inside the house, without losing living space on the 3rd floor and it earns us LEED points for the project!

While we were lucky with  December’s warm weather, we knew that winter in Northeast Ohio would come any day and it did. The insulation and shingles were a little delayed once we got through the holidays but we’re expected to have it done by the end of January.  

 

Stay tuned…
 

                                    

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