Over the next three years, CertainTeed and parent company Saint-Gobain will provide $550,000 to YouthBuild USA.

The grant will support YouthBuild’s green education and job-training program for low-income young people.

The announcement was made at a national kick-off event Dec. 14, 2010, in Philadelphia.

“As the world’s largest building materials company, Saint-Gobain is committed to helping communities build and renovate energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy, cost-efficient and durable buildings,” said Gilles Colas, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain in North America. “With the help of our subsidiary, CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, we hope to help YouthBuild USA achieve its mission of rebuilding the lives and communities of low-income, disconnected young adults, through its green building and job training program.”

In addition to funding from the Saint-Gobain foundation, the three-year partnership includes a commitment to provide energy-efficient products, building science and technical expertise and employee volunteer support. The partnership will support YouthBuild USA in its national efforts as well as undertake green home renovation projects in four local communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations, including the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, and chapters in Akron, Ohio; Schenectady, N.Y; and Worcester, Mass.

Each of the four local YouthBuild programs will receive $100,000 in grants over the next three years to engage YouthBuild students to learn green building techniques and build energy-efficient affordable housing. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed employees based in these communities will volunteer to assist YouthBuild students in renovating green homes.

About 10,000 disadvantaged 16- to 24-year-olds work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas annually in YouthBuild programs. These young adults learn job skills by building affordable, and increasingly green, housing for homeless people and low-income families. Since 1994, approximately 100,000 YouthBuild students have built 20,000 housing units across the country.

Through the YouthBuild USA Green Initiative, YouthBuild students build green, energy-efficient and healthy homes in their neighborhoods. According to Saint-Gobain representatives, YouthBuild homes are increasingly earning high ratings from Energy Star, the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Built, the National Association of Home Builders and other local and regional green-building associations.

“Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed are playing a key role in helping prepare YouthBuild students for jobs and entrepreneurship in the green economy,” said Dorothy Stoneman, president and founder of YouthBuild USA. “This crucial support enables local YouthBuild programs to reach more young people who are out of work and out of school, providing leadership and life skills, as well as preparing them for careers in construction and other fields.”