VALLEY FORGE, Pa., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the recent setback of a four-alarm fire, Worcester YouthBuild (operated by Training Resources of America, Inc.), in partnership with Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed, is moving forward with its green home renovation project in a ceremonial kick-off celebration today in Worcester, Mass., officiated by Mayor Joseph O'Brien. As part of the ceremony, Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed will present Worcester YouthBuild with a $100,000 grant in support of the organization's green education and job-training program for low-income youth, followed by an afternoon of service projects at the home.
The Worcester YouthBuild green home renovation project is part of a three-year, national partnership between Saint-Gobain, CertainTeed and YouthBuild USA, in support of the organization's "Green Initiative," which provides YouthBuild students with the opportunity to build green, energy-efficient and healthy homes in their neighborhoods, gain green job skills and industry-recognized credentials, and develop environmentally focused leadership skills. The partnership will also support green home renovation projects in three other communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations, including: YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School (Philadelphia, Pa.), YouthBuild Akron Summit (Akron, Ohio) and YouthBuild Schenectady (Schenectady, N.Y.).
Each of the four YouthBuild programs, including Worcester, will receive $100,000 in pass-through grants, over the next three years, to teach YouthBuild students green building techniques. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed employees based in these communities will volunteer to assist YouthBuild students with its green home renovations, as well as provide energy-efficient products and technical expertise.
"YouthBuild USA has made a tremendous impact in rebuilding the lives and communities of low-income, disconnected young adults. It is a true honor to partner with such an esteemed organization," said Karen Cawkwell, vice president of communications for Saint-Gobain North America. "We are particularly amazed by the resiliency demonstrated by the students of Worcester YouthBuild. Not even a fire could stand in their way – a true testament of the dedication these students express on a daily basis."
The Worcester YouthBuild green home renovation project, originally intended for 20 Charlton Street, was moved to 23 Hollis Street after the structure was damaged in a fire. Main South Community Development Corporation, owner of the Hollis Street property, was instrumental in identifying the site for the new renovation project, allowing Worcester YouthBuild students to continue their green building and job training program. Upon completion, the sustainable remodel, which will seek an ENERGY STAR® rating, will be maintained by Main South Community Development Corporation and rented to three local, low-income families.
"We are grateful to Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed for its support. Thanks to their generosity, Worcester-area youth have been inspired to dream big – learning green building techniques that directly impact their communities. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed have played a pivotal role in their success and overall transformation," said Kim Harmon, president of Training Resources of America, Inc.
For more information about Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed's partnership with YouthBuild USA, please visit http://www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com/people/YouthBuild.asp.
About Saint-Gobain North America/Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation
Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building products manufacturer, has more than 250 locations in North America, and approximately 19,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.3 billion in 2010. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain has earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award, the Agency's highest level of recognition, for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.
In Massachusetts, the company has nearly 2,500 employees, with major production facilities in Milford, Northampton, Norwood, Taunton and Worcester, as well as the company's largest worldwide R&D center in Northboro. For information about Saint-Gobain North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com.
The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the communities in which Saint-Gobain operates, and in which its employees live and work. Saint-Gobain has set out to be the worldwide leader in sustainable "Habitat," inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, cost-efficient and durable buildings. Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation supports non-profits that align closely with this strategy through programs such as YouthBuild that engage youth and communities in green building and renovation.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is North America's leading manufacturer of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fencing, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers. A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010. For more information about CertainTeed, visit www.certainteed.com.
About Worcester YouthBuild and Training Resources of America, Inc.
Training Resources of America Incorporated (TRA), founded in 1975 and headquartered in Worcester, Mass., is a private, non-profit organization that provides a variety of education, employment, training and workforce development services for both youth and adults at nine locations throughout Massachusetts.
TRA has operated Worcester YouthBuild since 1999, serving 238 high-risk, disconnected youth. YouthBuilders have renovated three triple-deckers, built two new two-family homes, and participated in a sustainable gut rehab of a single family home which attained an ENERGY STAR rating. All homes have been sold to low-income, first-time homebuyers or leased as affordable housing units. YouthBuilders have also worked on a variety of rehab, preventive maintenance and landscaping projects at 900 low-income housing units owned by Worcester Housing Authority. TRA currently operates Worcester YouthBuild in partnership with Main South Community Development Corporation and Haley Design Building.
SOURCE Saint-Gobain Corporation