Fire Can’t Stop Youths Building Green Home

YouthBuild USA’s Green Initiative is aimed at helping youth from low-income communities re-build their neighborhoods with green affordable housing–and in Worcester, Massachusetts, the organization is partnering with Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed to green a youth-led, energy efficient renovation to 23 Hollis Street.

This project was originally intended for 20 Charlton Street, but a four-alarm fire forced YouthBuild to focus elsewhere. The owner of the Hollis Street property, Main South Community Development Corporation, helped to identify the site for the new renovation project, which will allow Worcester YouthBuild students to continue their green building and job training program.

image via YouthBuild USA

The program is aimed at helping low-income students ages 16-24 to develop skills that will prove valuable in the burgeoning marketplace for green building, as well as leadership skills. YouthBuild also allows students to work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas and serve their communities by building affordable housing.

Saint-Gobain–a major manufacturer of eco-friendly windows and glass–is supporting YouthBuilt across four of its regional programs (centered in Worcester, Philadelphia, and Schenectady) with $100,000 in pass-through grants over the next three years. (Both Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed employees based in these communities will volunteer with the program as well.)

When complete, the Worcester renovation is expected to earn Energy Star certification. 

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply May 4, 2011


    Hi – excellent article, but just a quick correction, it’s Saint-Gobain not Saint-Grobain!

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