YouthBuild Schenectady's Story

Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Schenectady Complete the Program's First LEED® Gold Home Renovation

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, in partnership with YouthBuild Schenectady (operated by Northeast Parent & Child Society) completed a renovation of 843 Emmett Street in Schenectady, the non-profit's first gut-rehab home in Schenectady, set to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification.

More than 80 YouthBuild Schenectady students and the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation transformed the once-dilapidated property into a home that is both sustainable and affordable in 23 months.  On June 2, 2014, distinguished guests, including U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Congressman Paul D. Tonko, recognized the students’ accomplishment in a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The YouthBuild Schenectady project is the first to be finished in Schenectady under the national partnership between the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and YouthBuild USA in support of the non-profit’s national green building and job training program. 

Our partnership with YouthBuild affords Saint-Gobain and its family of companies an invaluable opportunity to transform the neighborhoods where we operate as well as the lives of students who will make up the future green building workforce. 

"This partnership does not stem from a passion merely for green building, but rather for the city of Schenectady – from the students who transformed this home, to the family who now lives more efficiently and comfortably in it, and most importantly, the broader Schenectady community who can now see that sustainable homes can be affordable," said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations.

Beyond providing green job skills, this partnership begins to fill the need for affordable and energy efficient housing in Schenectady. The project is one of the city’s most affordably built sustainable homes. The City of Schenectady is fortunate to have over a dozen LEED certified affordable homes through the HUD-funded “Options in Green Program” (each attained Platinum or Gold rating). YouthBuild Schenectady has worked with this program and used many best practices in constructing 843 Emmett Street – but this program model uses students and volunteers, which provides a very affordable way to build homes.

The Saint-Gobain family of companies and its employees share our vision of giving young people the opportunity to transform their own lives while building affordable green housing in their communities." - Dorothy Stoneman, CEO & Founder of YouthBuild USA

The Emmett Street property is owned and maintained by Northeast Parent and Child Society and is being rented to a family that has fulfilled eligibility requirements.

“In just the first few months of living in the home, we realized the advantages of living in a healthy, energy efficient and air-tight home,” said Tonia Thomas, the homeowner. “Even during the especially frigid winter we had this year, we experienced dramatically lower energy bills and increased comfort due to fewer variations in temperature from room to-room. It means a lot to me to know that my home is healthy and that my children are breathing clean air and are not being exposed to mold and pollutants.”

Alexis Bach
"I have wanted to be a nurse since I was about 13 or 14 years old, I’m finally able to do it and it’s amazing."
"I think it’s important to make the connection between leadership development and education."
Ely Flores
"During my time at the LA CAUSA YouthBuild program in East Los Angeles, I discovered that I was indeed a leader and that there were leadership assets within me and within my community."