October 31, 2019 | Worcester, Mass. United States

Saint-Gobain and Worcester YouthBuild Complete Construction on First Sustainable Home Project in Worcester under National Partnership to Train Next Generation of Construction Workers

A team of young people, with support of local building materials manufacturer, constructed home set to achieve industry’s highest sustainability standards

Worcester, Mass., October 31, 2019 – Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, in partnership with Worcester YouthBuild (operated by Training Resources of America, Inc.) and Worcester Common Ground, today announced the completion of the first sustainable home project in Worcester under the national partnership between Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and YouthBuild USA. Since October 2018, nearly 30 Worcester YouthBuild students and Saint-Gobain employees have worked to build the home located at 20 Merrick Street in Worcester, Massachusetts, which aims to achieve U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification.

The home is the second built from-ground-up of nine completed LEED rated green homes under the national partnership between Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and YouthBuild USA. YouthBuild programs help unemployed and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 attain their high school diploma or equivalent credential. During that time, they also learn career skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods while engaging in community service and leadership training. Graduates leave prepared for success in post-secondary education, careers and registered apprenticeships — and as part of a strong and supportive global community. Since 2010, Saint-Gobain has granted more than $1.6 million and made a commitment to providing energy-efficient building materials, building science and technical expertise, and employee volunteer support to build and renovate homes in areas where the company has business concentrations: Philadelphia, Pa.; Worcester, Mass.; Schenectady, N.Y.; and Canton, Ohio.

 “For nearly a decade, Saint-Gobain’s partnership with YouthBuild USA has helped build tomorrow’s workforce today by helping students harness valuable manufacturing and construction skills that will in turn fill the talent pipeline,” said Mark Rayfield, CEO, Saint-Gobain North America and CertainTeed Corporation. “Through the partnership, students not only learn from our employees about sustainable, innovative building materials and construction techniques, but the partnership gives our employee volunteers a meaningful opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with young people who are just beginning their careers.”  

The Saint-Gobain family of companies, led by CertainTeed Corporation, the company’s largest building and construction brand in North America, provided over 40 sustainable building materials to help the project achieve its sustainability and affordability goals. In addition, Saint-Gobain employees spent nearly 80 hours working alongside YouthBuild students to install building materials and ensure the sustainability of the home.

“YouthBuild’s comprehensive model unleashes the intelligence and positive energy of unemployed, out-of-school young people to transform their lives and find a successful path forward,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA. “Our partnership with Saint-Gobain helps our students bridge the extensive skills gap in our workforce and bring meaningful change to Worcester and communities all across the country.”

The following products were used in the 20 Merrick Street project:

• Roofing solutions from CertainTeed:

  • Landmark® Shingles are the high-quality, reliable choice for beautifying and protecting a home. With a dual-layered design that emulates the dimensionality of true wood shake, Landmark asphalt shingles are independently certified by UL for quality and offer the widest array of color options in their class, providing peace of mind and allowing you to create or re-create the ideal look for your home with confidence.
  • WinterGuard® waterproofing shingle underlayment is a self-adhering ice and water barrier made from polymer-modified asphalt. Vapor-tight and elastic, WinterGuard stretches and seals around nail penetrations to protect your roof against water penetration in its most vulnerable places.

• Siding Solutions from CertainTeed

  • Cedar Impressions® Individual 5” Sawmill Shingles are the industry’s first polymer shingles that feature an innovative, blended color throughout. Each shingle reflects the sawmill texture of real cedar and installs in the same manner as individual cedar shingles.

• Insulation Solutions from CertainTeed:

  • OPTIMA® Blow-In Insulation System gives homes a custom-designed, seamless, thermally efficient sound-reducing blanket that completely fills any void. No other product installs or performs better than OPTIMA. OPTIMA fiberglass insulation is blown behind a special OPTIMA fabric, or equivalent, in new construction.   

• Outdoor Living Products from CertainTeed:

  • EverNew® Vinyl Decking comes with a lifetime limited warranty and 5-year SureStart™ protection for peace of mind. Create the space you want with CertainTeed EverNew® vinyl decking solutions: easy to install, easy to maintain and easy to clean for busy, no-maintenance lifestyles.
  • EverNew® Oxford Vinyl Railing offers everything you need for a safe and secure railing installation. Oxford goes the extra mile with standard features like concealed aluminum rail mount brackets and stainless steel screws, for long-lasting strength and peace of mind.

Now that the project is complete, Clinton Savings Bank, the construction lender, will be marketing the home, in conjunction with Keller Williams Real Estate broker Jasmine Ortiz, to potential owner-occupants interested in living in the neighborhood. For more information on this project and Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA, please visit www.buildingourfuturetogether.com.


About Worcester Common Ground

Worcester Common Ground, Inc. (WCG), a Community Development Corporation (CDC), was founded in 1988 in response to concern about absentee ownership of land and property, the high cost of housing, the displacement of families from their homes into shelters and the fading dream of home ownership and economic opportunity for those living in the most underserved neighborhood of Central Worcester, Massachusetts. The mission of WCG is to promote and develop permanent and sustainable improvement in the neighborhoods of Central Worcester through affordable housing, community activism and economic development. We act as a developer of last resort, rehabilitating abandoned housing and acquiring parcels of vacant land for new construction to provide area residents with affordable rental units, the opportunity to own their own home and an avenue to contribute to an increased level of neighborhood investment, pride and stability.



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 programs and services for educationally and economically disadvantaged youth and adults at six locations throughout Massachusetts.

 At the Worcester training site, TRA has operated Worcester YouthBuild since 1999, serving over 475 high-risk, disconnected youth. Over the years, YouthBuilders have renovated or constructed 22 low-income, affordable housing units in Worcester, most of which have attained high ENERGY STAR® ratings. They have also worked on a variety of rehab, preventive maintenance and landscaping projects at 900 low-income housing units owned by Worcester Housing Authority. The 20 Merrick Street project is the first green build seeking LEED certification and the 23rd low-income housing unit renovated/constructed by Worcester YouthBuild students.




About YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for 300 local YouthBuild programs operating in 21 countries, with 252 programs in 46 U.S. states and 48 programs in 20 other countries. In YouthBuild programs, unemployed, low-income and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 work toward their high school diploma or equivalency, while learning job skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods and engaging in community service and leadership training. Proven effective by the most rigorous program evaluation research, YouthBuild’s comprehensive model gives graduates the confidence and tools they need to become strong, responsible and ethical young leaders. For more information, visit www.youthbuild.org.


About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, helps create great living spaces by combining comfort and sustainability. For more than three-and-a-half centuries, Saint-Gobain has been enhancing the wellbeing of people everywhere, whether it’s by addressing climate change, delivering true sustainable development, advancing the information revolution, participating in medical breakthroughs or playing a vital role in space exploration.

In North America, Saint-Gobain has approximately 160 locations and more than 15,500 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.5 billion in 2018. Learn more about Saint-Gobain North America by visiting www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with Saint-Gobain North America on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.




Contact Info:

Brownstein Group on behalf of Saint-Gobain
Linda Rosenblum
Office: 215-735-3470 x182
Mobile: 609-707-2091


Lauren Howe
Mobile: 774-262-5720