Saint-Gobain News Release, Valley Forge, Pa., January 16– Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies, announces today it has extended its national partnership with YouthBuild USA via a one-year $200,000 grant, which will continue to support YouthBuild’s Green Initiative and YouthBuild programs in four communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations, including: Worcester, Mass., Schenectady, N.Y., Akron, Ohio, and Philadelphia, Pa. This will be the fourth year of the partnership between Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild USA, with funding from the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and support from the Saint-Gobain family of companies in the form of products, employee volunteerism and technical expertise. The partnership supports the youth development program’s national green building and job training program that provides former out-of-school youth the opportunity to build energy-efficient homes in their neighborhoods while earning their GEDs or high school diplomas.
The partnership with Saint-Gobain is a first of its kind for the YouthBuild programs and YouthBuild USA nationally. “For the first time in YouthBuild’s 35-year history, we have a partner that not only shares our passion for green building and our students’ professional development, but also has the ability to donate a breadth of energy-efficient building products and technical expertise from their most knowledgeable building scientists,” said Dorothy Stoneman, Founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA. “We are excited to see the lives and communities we can impact together with Saint-Gobain’s commitment for another year.”
Each of the four YouthBuild programs that are part of the partnership with Saint-Gobain will receive a portion of the $200,000 in the form of pass-through grants over the course of 2014. The extended partnership will make it possible for:
• YouthBuild Philadelphia to complete two more projects that are already underway at 2006 and 2007 Wingohocking Street in Philadelphia’s Nicetown neighborhood;
• YouthBuild Schenectady to identify and complete another project;
• YouthBuild Worcester to identify and complete another project;
• YouthBuild Akron to identify and complete another project; and lastly
• Support to aid in the development of a ”Scientists in the Classroom” pilot program to leverage Saint-Gobain scientists and engineers to expose young people to curriculum and careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics
“Three years ago, Saint-Gobain entered into this partnership with YouthBuild because we saw an opportunity to share our nearly 350 years of building and construction expertise with students and help transform their lives and their neighborhoods. However, we had the student/teacher relationship all wrong,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed. “Over the course of hundreds of volunteer hours, the experience has changed the lives of hundreds of employees who have donated their time to work alongside YouthBuild students. The students have taught our employees lessons in drive, tenacity and heart, and it is a great privilege and honor to continue supporting these students through the YouthBuild program in years to come.”
Since December 2010, the partnership has supported green home renovation projects in four communities. In addition to the $550,000 in pass-through grants already donated, each program has received donated building products from eight different Saint-Gobain businesses, including its building materials subsidiary and primary in-kind donator CertainTeed, which have helped YouthBuild to achieve energy-efficiency, sustainability and affordability goals, enhance indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of each home and ensure projects are both sustainable and aesthetic. Additionally, Saint-Gobain employees have participated in special educational events, known as design charrettes, to ensure the students have the knowledge to build the most sustainable project possible. Through the partnership, to date, Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild have completed three homes that were sold to low-to-moderate-income families – two of which attained LEED® Platinum certification, the highest level of sustainable building certification.