The homes at 20 and 24 Merrick Street are aiming to achieve USGBC’s LEED Platinum certification.
Worcester, Mass. – October 18, 2018 – Worcester Common Ground, Worcester YouthBuild, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc., and Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, today broke ground on the sustainable construction of two homes at 20 and 24 Merrick Street. The homes, which will be the first ground-up construction projects completed in Worcester under Saint-Gobain’s national partnership with YouthBuild USA, are aiming to achieve United States Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification. Distinguished guests, including City Manager Edward Augustus and State Representative Mary Keefe, were on site to celebrate the occasion.
“The construction of these two homes will provide our students with the opportunity to work alongside experts at Worcester Common Ground and Saint-Gobain to learn what it truly means to transform a vacant plot of land into a sustainable, energy-efficient home,” said Doug Daigle, Manager, Training Resources of America, Inc. “Throughout this process, our students will gain invaluable skills and the sense of achievement that comes from using your own two hands to creative positive change.”
Both homes are located on a 10,500 square foot parcel of land, which became vacant in 2012 when the previous homes on the site were leveled by fire. Since 2012, the abandoned property has invited illegal dumping and illicit activity. With the ground-up construction of these two new homes, the team will help achieve sustainability goals while also promoting community and neighborhood improvement.
“This project truly speaks to our organization’s mission by allowing us to create two more examples of affordable, sustainable living,” said Yvette Dyson, Executive Director at Worcester Common Ground. “The completed properties will be more than just housing; they will be comprehensive quality urban living environments that provide residents with space to garden and relax with family and neighbors.”
Throughout the construction process, Saint-Gobain will provide funding, building material donations, building science expertise, and additional support through employee volunteerism. The team will also work together to provide Worcester YouthBuild students with hands-on construction and learning opportunities.
“This construction project demonstrates the depth and breadth of our national partnership with YouthBuild USA as we break ground on our first sustainable construction project in Worcester,” said Tom Kinisky, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Corporation. “By working alongside Worcester YouthBuild students, we continue to invest in their futures by inspiring a genuine interest in green building and teaching students the skills needed to secure an in-demand career in the construction industry.”
Other key project partners include architect and project manager Larry Haley, the City of Worcester, Clinton Savings Bank, and Santander. Both homes are expected to be complete by early summer of 2019.
About Worcester Common Ground
Worcester Common Ground, Inc. (WCG), a Community Development Corporation (CDC) was founded in 1988 in response to concern about absentee ownership of land and property, the high cost of housing, the displacement of families from their homes into shelters, and the fading dream of home ownership and economic opportunity for those living in the most underserved neighborhood of Central Worcester, Massachusetts. The mission of WCG is to promote and develop permanent and sustainable improvement in the neighborhoods of Central Worcester through affordable housing, community activism and economic development. We act as a developer of last resort, rehabilitating abandoned housing and acquiring parcels of vacant land for new construction to provide area residents with affordable rental units, the opportunity to own their own home, and an avenue to contribute to an increased level of neighborhood investment, pride and stability.
About Worcester YouthBuild and Training Resources of America, Inc.
Training Resources of America Incorporated (TRA), founded in 1975 and headquartered in Worcester, Mass., is a private, non-profit organization that provides a variety of education, employment, training and workforce development programs and services for educationally and economically disadvantaged youth and adults at seven locations throughout Massachusetts.
At the Worcester training site, TRA has operated Worcester YouthBuild since 1999, serving over 450 high-risk, disconnected youth. Over the years, YouthBuilders have renovated or constructed 22 low-income, affordable housing units in Worcester, most of which have attained high ENERGY STAR® ratings. They have also worked on a variety of rehab, preventive maintenance and landscaping projects at 900 low-income housing units owned by Worcester Housing Authority.
About YouthBuild USA
YouthBuild is celebrating 40 years of work advancing its mission to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of young people to transform their lives and rebuild their communities. YouthBuild USA is the global nonprofit support center for 360 local YouthBuild programs operating in 23 countries, with 260 programs in 44 U.S. states and 100 programs in 22 other countries. In YouthBuild programs, unemployed, low-income, and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 work toward their high school diploma or equivalency, while learning job skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods and engaging in community service and leadership training. Proven effective by the most rigorous program evaluation research, YouthBuild’s comprehensive model gives graduates the confidence and tools they need to become strong, responsible and ethical young leaders. For more information, visit www.youthbuild.org.
About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, helps create great living spaces by combining comfort and sustainability. For more than three-and-a-half centuries, Saint-Gobain has been enhancing the well-being of people everywhere, whether it’s by addressing climate change, delivering true sustainable development, advancing the information revolution, participating in medical breakthroughs or playing a vital role in space exploration.
In North America, Saint-Gobain has approximately 150 locations and more than 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.1 billion in 2017. Learn more about Saint-Gobain North America by visiting www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with Saint-Gobain North America on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Brownstein Group on behalf of Saint-Gobain