January 16, 2014 | Valley Forge, PA USA

Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild USA Extend National Partnership to Help Rebuild Communities and Lives of Students

One-year $200,000 grant to continue support for 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. 

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, and a third is just months away from attaining this prestigious certification.

About the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation

The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation is committed to putting the power of its people and its products into the communities in which its employees live and work. The Foundation believes Saint-Gobain can do well by doing good – and supporting non-profits that share a commitment to community development, energy conservation and environmental stewardship is central to that belief. Programs such as YouthBuild that engage youth and communities in green building and renovation align closely with Saint-Gobain’s mission to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, cost-efficient and durable buildings. Through the Foundation’s support, Saint-Gobain is helping 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 http://www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com/people/YouthBuild.asp

About Saint-Gobain in North America 

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 265 locations in North America and approximately 19,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.9 billion in 2012.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012 and 2013 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

About YouthBuild and YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities—housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable, increasingly green housing in their communities and preparing for postsecondary success. Emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service, and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to each other’s success.

YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations and public entities that raise funds from a variety of sources. Primary funding for local YouthBuild programs comes from the US Department of Labor under the federal YouthBuild program, authorized under the Workforce Investment Act and administered by the Employment and Training Administration. There are now 264 YouthBuild programs in 46 states, Washington, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1994, 120,000 YouthBuild students have built 22,000 affordable units, increasing green housing nationwide. YouthBuild is now being replicated by NGOs and governments in Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Serbia, and South Africa.

YouthBuild USA is an international nonprofit organization that works to unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives. YouthBuild USA leads the international YouthBuild movement and contributes to the broader youth and community development fields in order to diminish poverty in the United States and internationally. The US Department of Labor contracts with YouthBuild USA to provide training and technical assistance to its YouthBuild grantees. For more information, visit www.youthbuild.org. 


Saint-Gobain in North America:
Dina Silver Pokedoff, APR
610-341-7031 (office)
484-919-2103 (mobile)