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.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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…


Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“What are you doing for others?”- Dr. King

On Martin Luther King day of service, more than forty Saint-Gobain employee volunteers took the day to work side-by-side with YouthBuild students to install CertainTeed gypsum on the Wingohocking street homes, while another group of employees rolled up their sleeves to paint 40 original murals in the hallways of Philadelphia’s Dr. Ethel D. Allen Promise Academy elementary school.

Across both service projects, employees and students radiated energy and fun.

A Saint-Gobain volunteer said “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Youthbuild hanging gypsum. The students had great energy and enthusiasm and it was very apparent that they wanted to be there and wanted to learn and do more. That alone made it a rewarding experience for me (but I also liked the opportunity to get out of the office and get my hands dirty for a great cause.”

For Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild, it was an honor to participate in a day that allows us to be in solidarity with the thousands of other Philadelphians serving their communities.

Watch below to see a photo slideshow of the service day events!

If you volunteered on MLK day, leave us a comment below and share what you did to serve in your community.



Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saint Gobain and YouthBuild Schenectady to Rehab 706. Vale Place.

Schenectady is a city riddled with old and vacant homes that are left abandoned for years with little hope to be restored. Thanks to the SEAT Center, their program YouthBuild Schenectady, the City of Schenectady and Saint Gobain, they are hitting two birds with one stone. They have taken the house at 706 Vale Place, which has been vacant for years and have decided to restore it. Not only does this help to improve the local community, it also provides the YouthBuild Schenectady students with hands on construction training opportunities.

YouthBuild Schenectady graduate Yusuf Criss gave an empowering speech about how he overcame the troubles of his past. Having spent 3 1/2 years in jail after getting into trouble at the age of 16, he realized that it was now or never and he had to turn his life around. Mayor Gary McCarthy alongside Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara came to witness the unveiling of the project and to show their support for the students.

YouthBuild Schenectady graduate Yusuf Criss gave an empowering speech about how he overcame the troubles of his past. Having spent 3 1/2 years in jail after getting into trouble at the age of 16, he realized that it was now or never and he had to turn his life around. Mayor Gary McCarthy alongside Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara came to witness the unveiling of the project and to show their support for the students.

Brad Johnson, Vice President, Abrasives North America and Automotive Aftermarket worldwide, at Saint-Gobain, gives speech on behalf of the “hard work and dedication” YouthBuild Schenectady Students have demonstrated while building their lives and their futures.

Check it out!

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It’s All About the Green!

YouthBuild Philly and CertainTeed insulation came together with the same goal – to make the 2006 & 2008 W. Wingohocking Street properties the two most sustainable and energy efficient homes they can be.

To make this goal a reality, CertainTeed insulation is partnering with YouthBuild Philly to develop the next generation of green construction contractors by providing hands-on insulation installation training using the best in class energy efficient insulation material provided by CertainTeed.

West Chester Insulation, a long time contractor of CertainTeed insulation, was also on site to support the students and participate in the install.

Through the Saint-Gobain Foundation partnership with YouthBuild,  three types of  insulation were donated and installed on the two homes, by CertainTeed, West Chester Insulation and YouthBuild students by using a hybrid system that included:

CertainTeed insulation plans to develop the next generation of insulation contractors with YouthBuild in Philadelphia and in other regions.

We are truly building our future TOGETHER!

By working together we can build energy efficiency homes in our communities, protect our earth and ensure that life is preserved for the next generation to come.

For a recap of the day, check out the video below! Be sure to watch to the very end to hear an original rap created by YouthBuild students titled It’s All About the Green!


Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments