Green Building

YouthBuild is creating a workforce of green leaders . . . who must be part of the boom of the green-collar economy.” – Ely Flores, 2005 La CAUSA YouthBuild, Los Angeles, CA graduate and Executive Director of LEAD YouthBuild  

YouthBuild USA launched the Green Initiative in 2005 in order to bring green building practices into our network as our contribution to protecting the environment. Soon thereafter, as the green building market continued to grow quickly, it became clear that green skills training was extremely valuable for YouthBuild students.  

As of 2016, green building jobs account for over 55% of the design and construction workforce, with a demand that greatly exceeds the workforce supply. To help meet this demand, the YouthBuild USA Green Initiative helps YouthBuild programs introduce green careers to YouthBuild students and helps them obtain industry-recognized credentials. Out-of-work and out-of-school young people who attend YouthBuild transform their lives while working towards their high school diplomas and develop marketable green building skills.

Quick Facts Since 2005

  • $8.4 million in pass-through grants from private and public sources have been provided by the Green Initiative to YouthBuild affiliates for green building, weatherization, green business, and green collar career development.
  • $40,000 in seed grants have been given  by YouthBuild USA to graduate entrepreneurs for green entrepreneurial ventures.
  • 2,700+ YouthBuild trainers, students, and graduates have attended or participated in over 170 green construction trainings, onsite technical assistance visits, green building design charrettes, webinars and other events.
  • 600+ YouthBuild construction trainers have been certified by YouthBuild USA to deliver industry-recognized construction certifications to YouthBuild students.

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has been a dedicated partner of the YouthBuild USA Green Initiative since 2010. Saint-Gobain sees in YouthBuild an impressive combination of education, leadership development, community, construction, and sustainability. Through the partnership, Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed are donating funds, energy-efficient products, technical expertise, and employee volunteer support to YouthBuild’s green home building projects in four communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations: Philadelphia, PA; Canton, OH; Schenectady, NY; and Worcester, MA. To date this partnership has resulted in 11 affordable green homes, 6 having received LEED certification at the Gold and Platinum levels. This partnership has also resulted in several product education and hands-on skill training days with subsidiaries CertainTeed, Solar Gard, and Sage Glass, offering students the opportunity to meet with professionals and learn about a variety of new careers. This collaboration is also documented through Saint-Gobain's regularly updated blog.

Benjamin Moore and GIVING MOORE FOUNDATION partner with a select group of YouthBuild Affiliates in the US, donating funds, employee volunteer support, and offering career exploration opportunities. In 2016 the partnership selected four affiliates to receive eco-friendly interior and exterior paint for their affordable green housing construction projects. The paint will contribute to a healthier indoor air quality for the families living in these units.

Benjamin Moore employees have also engaged in service events with YouthBuild students, allowing them to be mentored by employees in small career exploration sessions and events, known as “World of Work” days.

Zoro provides products to clean, build, and fix almost anything - a perfect partner for YouthBuild. Through this partnership, Zoro employees have been extremely active with YouthBuild Lake County IL, participating in service days, hosting a graduation celebration, and sponsoring a fundraising gala. Zoro has also hosted a Career Exploration Day at their headquarters, awarded a scholarship to a YouthBuild student, and hired a program graduate.

YouthBuild USA is a USGBC member organization and has maintained a national partnership together since 2010. They also work together in regularly attending Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Additionally, USGBC has maintained numerous local partnerships with YouthBuild organizations across the country.