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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, Worcester, Mass., June 14, 2017 – 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. Fifteen 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.”

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