VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — Participating young adults from YouthBuild Schenectady (operated by Northeast Parent & Child Society) will take a sledgehammer to the front door of 843 Emmett Street in Schenectady, New York’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood. Students will be joined by Acting Mayor Gary McCarthy and other city officials in a ceremonial kickoff celebration of the sustainable rebuild. During the next year, area youth will complete a green, affordable renovation of the home while gaining in-demand green building job skills and credentials along the way. As part of the ceremony, Saint-Gobain and its subsidiary CertainTeed will present YouthBuild Schenectady with a $100,000 grant in support of the organization’s green building education and job-training program for low-income youth.
The Emmett Street project is part of a three-year national partnership between Saint-Gobain, CertainTeed and YouthBuild USA in support of the organization’s national green building and job training program for out-of-work, out-of-school youth. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young adults ages 16 to 24 work full-time for 6-12 months toward their GEDs, high school diplomas or professional credentials while learning green construction skills by building affordable housing in their communities.
“We are proud to partner with YouthBuild USA and stand behind the organization because of its focus on sustainability and commitment to shaping young adults to be stewards of the environment,” said John Crowe, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations. “With more than 1,000 employees in New York, we believe it is important to invest in the future workforce and contribute to helping prepare young adults with the necessary skills they will need to be successful.”
The partnership also supports 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 Worcester (Worcester, Mass.). Each of the four YouthBuild programs, including Schenectady, will receive $100,000 in pass-through grants during 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 the home renovations, as well as provide energy-efficient products and building science and technical expertise.
Upon completion, the sustainable single-family home designed by Re4orm Architecture will seek LEED certification. It will then be sold to a family of low or moderate income that has fulfilled eligibility requirements and completed a HUD-approved homeownership counseling program.
“The partnership with Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed will make it possible for young adults to learn green building techniques,” said John Henley, president and chief executive officer of Northeast Parent & Child Society. “As a result, more doors will open for the youth in Schenectady. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed bring more than just financial support to us; they also bring invaluable building science expertise, and that knowledge will be instrumental in helping us ensure students leave this program not only employable in the marketplace, but also desirable in today’s green economy.”
For more information, visit www.certainteed.com.