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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YouthBuild Worcester students tour Saint-Gobain Abrasives and Northboro Research & Development Center

On Thursday, April 20, students from YouthBuild Worcester toured Saint-Gobain Abrasives and the Northboro Research & Development Center to learn more about manufacturing and innovation at the Saint-Gobain family of companies.

Through its partnership with Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies, YouthBuild Worcester, operated by Training Resources of America, provides former out-of-school young adults with the opportunity to earn their high school equivalency credentials while gaining in-demand green building skills and education.

Through this partnership, students are also provided with hands-on opportunities to learn about careers in the manufacturing and building materials industries through immersive initiatives like these facility tours.

Students first toured Saint-Gobain Abrasives where they were provided with a safety orientation and learned about the building material science behind bonded abrasives and superabrasives. Students then traveled to the Northboro Research & Development Center to learn about innovation at Saint-Gobain.

The tour was informative, fun, and eye-opening! Here’s what some of the students said about their experience:

“(The tour) opened my eyes to all of the machine operating that goes into making wheels. They literally make everything there and that’s cool!”  –Christian Fernandez

“I really liked the research and development branch in Northboro. What Aldo did with the insulation was so cool! It is amazing how much work goes into the simplest things. Now I know why everything is so expensive!” – Keith Lowell

“Everything was mind-blowing. I could see myself working in the research department because that’s right up my alley.” – Kabilraj Kantharaj

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YouthBuild Worcester students experience the thrill of luge

YouthBuild Worcester students recently learned about the sport of luge with 1998 Nagano Winter Games Double Luge Silver Medalist Gordy Sheer, and then experienced the thrill of luge first-hand at the Norton Luge Challenge, held at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Massachusetts.

During the classroom discussion with Gordy, the students came prepared with a lot of questions and curiosity about the sport of luge, what it takes to be a luge athlete and why the sled is such an important part of the sport.

The students then learned how impactful Saint-Gobain’s work and involvement with the athletes has made –and continues to make—a significant material difference in how the athletes train, compete, and, ultimately, win medals!

Following the classroom presentation, the students took to the slopes at Wachusett Mountain and put what they learned about the sport of luge into action!

After a basic lesson in acceleration, steering and stopping techniques from the USA Luge athletes and coaches, the YouthBuild students were able to take practice runs on a recreational version of a luge sled down a track complete with curves and timing equipment.

It was a great day for three partners to come together to make a difference in the lives of the next generation of potential athletes and professionals!

Go Team USA!

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YouthBuild San Joaquin students complete CertainTeed Insulation training

Students at YouthBuild San Joaquin in California recently completed the CertainTeed Insulation Training Program (ITP) taught by leading experts in the field courtesy of the CertainTeed’s Insulation team. Participating in CertainTeed’s unique ITP program allowed students to add another important piece to their job training plans and put them on a path to help fill the talent pipeline for the company’s insulation contractors.

The whole concept of YouthBuild students participating in CertainTeed’s ITP started as a pilot program through YouthBuild Philadelphia and has spread across the country to include YouthBuild programs in Schenectady, New York, and St. Louis, Missouri.

A direct result of a partnership led by the CertainTeed Insulation team and Saint-Gobain corporate communications, the ITP leveraged existing Saint-Gobain Corporate Foundation programs to create this innovative school to work program.

Featured in USA Today, ITP is proof-positive that business-driven philanthropy, when combined with the power of partnership, can pave the way for youth to learn, and potentially, begin a rewarding career!

Check out this video from YouthBuild San Joaquin, which features our partnership and the insulation training, led by our own Ted Winslow.



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YouthBuild Canton students complete siding training with CertainTeed

Students from Project Rebuild, our newest YouthBuild partnership in Canton, Ohio, recently participated in siding training with employees from our sister company, CertainTeed.

Mark McNabb, senior territory manager, coordinated the training and shared his knowledge of the siding products and oversaw the installation of CertainTeed’s Cedar Impressions Sawmill Shake Shingles. The experience was beneficial for the students and staff.

The students of YouthBuild Canton send a huge “thank you” to Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed for the opportunity to participate in the training.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to work on our project located at 1714 Frazer Avenue NW in Canton!

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YouthBuild Philadelphia students witness installation of solar panel system

Recently, three YouthBuild Philadelphia students visited the Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed North American headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, to witness the assembly of three major components of a solar panel system—racking, solar module and the inverter—as a learning opportunity.

Saint-Gobain tapped two Chester County-based businesses to install the system—Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG), based in Berlin, which served as the project developer and consultant, and Keares Electrical Consulting, based in Downingtown, which served as the electrical consulting firm.

The company’s decision to install CoolStar Solar Reflective Roofing and solar panel system from CertainTeed, coupled with its decision to install insulation from CertainTeed and electronically tintable dynamic glazing from SageGlass, led to the company earning LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for superior core and shell performance.

Since the company is not the building owner but has a long-term lease arrangement, ensuring the integrity of the roof was very important to both landlord and tenant. Saint-Gobain worked in close consultation with AEDG to deploy a solution that would ensure the roof integrity would not be compromised. As a result, the building serves as an example for how companies that are energy efficient and sustainability-minded can work together to move forward with a solar roof installation that has significant benefits for both building owner and occupant.

The company selected to install Solstice GreenTriplex PM250MO1 by CertainTeed Roofing. By installing this product, the company’s building scientists will be able to study the impact of the product which will enhance the development of other residential solar systems.

In addition to witnessing the solar installation, the YouthBuild students received a behind the scenes look at the installation process about how the system will impact energy savings and product development.

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