By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A worldwide building materials company is expanding its role in a job training program for disadvantaged youth, including in what it calls its “flagship” location, Philadelphia.
Saint-Gobain is providing a $600,000, three-year grant to “YouthBuild,” a program that helps 16-to-24 year olds who are no longer in school earn their high school diplomas or GEDs while learning construction trades.
Some of the grant money will stay in Philadelphia to help the YouthBuild Charter School, an alternative school for former high school dropouts, at Broad Street and Girard Avenue.
“Thanks to YouthBuild Philly and the opportunities they gave me, I went from having a dead-end job to being at the start of my dream career,” Jerome Kinard, a 2014 graduate who now works for Graboyes Commercial Window Company, said today at the announcement at the Barnes Foundation.
The Saint-Gobain grant will also help programs in Worcester, Mass.; Schenectady, NY; and Canton, Ohio, where the company has business concentrations.
At the same announcement, the company disclosed it would provide building materials to support the redevelopment of the Philadelphia “Welcome Center” — that round building in a corner of Love Park (JFK Plaza) colloquially known as the “Flying Saucer.”
Saint-Gobain is in the process of moving its North American headquarters from Valley Forge, Pa. to Malvern, and is celebrating its 350th anniversary by showcasing its products this week at a temporary exhibit on Eakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.