June 15, 2017 | Worcester, MA United States

Saint-Gobain and Worcester YouthBuild Hold Service Day at Friendly House Neighborhood Center

Students from Worcester YouthBuild, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc., partnered with local Saint-Gobain employees to install CertainTeed Siding on and beautify landscaping at Friendly House Neighborhood Center

Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative solutions, in partnership with Worcester YouthBuild, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc., installed CertainTeed Siding and beautified landscaping at Friendly House Neighborhood Center, which has been serving the Worcester community since 1920 with a wide array of educational, social and recreational programs. Approximately 15 students worked alongside Saint-Gobain employees to learn about sustainable building materials from the Saint-Gobain family of companies and about careers in the manufacturing and construction industries.

This installation is just one of the sustainable renovation projects completed under the national partnership between Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild USA in support of the nonprofit’s national green-building and job-training program since 2010. The program provides former out-of-school young adults with the opportunity to complete sustainable renovation projects in their local communities and gain green job skills and industry-recognized credentials while earning their high school equivalencies.

“Through our partnership with Saint-Gobain, our students are given the unique and invaluable opportunity to participate in sustainable renovation projects like this one and to beautify and improve their own community,” said Kim Harmon, President and CEO of Training Resources of America, Inc. “These opportunities not only provide our students with green-building education but also allow them to see the positive impact they can make with their own two hands.”

In recent years, the physical structure of the Center began to show signs of deterioration and was in desperate need of renovations, but lacked the funding and building science expertise to complete the repairs. Through collaborative efforts, the Saint-Gobain Worcester Executive Fund awarded a grant to Friendly House through the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation to purchase siding by CertainTeed and other sustainable building materials to renovate the more than 40-year-old building.

“One of Saint-Gobain’s foundational values is doing the right thing for our environment, communities and employees, so when we saw the need for a sustainable renovation at Friendly House, which already provides so many services for YouthBuild students, employees and the local community, we jumped at the opportunity to get involved,” said Bradley H. Johnson, Vice President of Saint-Gobain Abrasives in North America. “It was exciting for our employees to have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty alongside YouthBuild students. Not only were we able to share sustainable building knowledge with these students but they also reminded us of important life lessons about hard work, dedication and the power of positive change.”

As a result of this renovation, Friendly House Neighborhood Center will receive an updated exterior, resulting in a more welcoming community gathering space.  

“Friendly House has enduring relationships with Worcester YouthBuild and Saint-Gobain due to our overlapping missions to improve and give back to our local community,” said Gordon Hargrove, Director of Friendly House. “It’s great to see the same students, families and employees who utilize our services taking our organization’s best interests to heart to help create a Center that serves as an invaluable resource for the local community and will attract community members for generations to come.”

The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA also supports green renovation projects in three other communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations, including Canton, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y., and has granted more than $1.35 million to help educate future generations about sustainable building and environmental preservation through its own example. For more information about Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA, please visit www.buildingourfuturetogether.com.

About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain, the world leader in sustainable environments, has designed and manufactured high-performance building materials that improve the lives of people all over the world. From the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles and the glass pyramid at the Louvre, to The Statue of Liberty and The World Trade Center, and even components that allow the Mars Rover Curiosity to seek out life on another planet, Saint-Gobain has been a part of the fabric of human history, advancement and improvement.

In North America, the company upholds this rich history of innovation by making a material difference in the spaces where people work, live, play, heal and learn. Along with its North American headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Saint-Gobain has approximately 150 locations in North America and more than 14,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $5.8 billion in 2016. Experience our innovation, wonders and advancements by visiting www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with Saint-Gobain North America on Facebook and Twitter.

About Worcester YouthBuild and Training Resources of America, Inc.
Training Resources of America Incorporated (TRA), founded in 1975 and headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a private, non-profit organization that provides a variety of education, employment, training, and workforce development services for educationally and economically disadvantaged youth and adults at eight locations throughout Massachusetts.

At the Worcester training site, TRA has operated Worcester YouthBuild since 1999, serving over 400 high-risk, disconnected youth.  Over the years, YouthBuilders have renovated or newly constructed 20 low-income, affordable housing units in Worcester, most of which 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.

Current YouthBuild students are participating in a sustainable gut rehab of a 14,000 square foot building and converting it into 9 housing units for low-income families and veterans.

About YouthBuild USA
YouthBuild USA leads an international network of 360 local YouthBuild programs in the USA and 21 countries that help youth transform their own lives while transforming their communities. YouthBuild programs address critical issues facing low-income communities – housing, education, employment, crime prevention and leadership development.

In the United States, local YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations, government agencies, and community colleges. In other countries, YouthBuild programs are sponsored by NGOs, government agencies, international development institutions, and global companies.

About Friendly House
Friendly House is a non-profit organization based in Worcester, MA, that supports families holistically through a team-based effort while fully engaging our board of directors, staff, volunteers, and members. We reach out to our community and act as a good neighbor by providing leadership capacities and facilities for general community use. We are committed to providing family-centered involvement with opportunities for creative learning, cultural enrichment, and access to technological and recreational activities. We want to empower individuals and their families by building self-confidence and leadership skills. This is made possible by building mutually supportive relationships with schools, universities, and community organizations. These relationships allow us to generate and support social entrepreneurial activity and maximize our resources by networking and collaborating.

Media Contact:
Brenda Heller
Saint-Gobain in North America
508-335-4117 (cell)