Malvern, PA,
12:30 PM

CertainTeed Looks to #KeepCraftAlive with Scholarship Donation to Next Generation of Tradespeople

Manufacturer teams up with Fine Homebuilding to donate a total of $25,000 in funding to SkillsUSA


(Malvern, Pa.) – CertainTeed, a leading North American manufacturer of building materials, is excited to announce the organization’s partnership with Fine Homebuilding to #KeepCraftAlive, by donating a total $25,000 to a SkillsUSA scholarship fund. With $20,000 coming from CertainTeed and $5,000 from Fine Homebuilding, the total amount directly impacts the scholarship that recognizes deserving active members and alumni who have a passion for the craft and are planning to attend #KeepCraftAlive affiliated school programs, community colleges, undergraduate programs, and pursue industry certifications.

The scholarship, applied to the 2017-18 academic year for five eligible recipients, is the ultimate effort to encourage the youth of today to further their education in the construction trades. With the noted gap between a growing housing industry and a shortage of trained, qualified labor – the focus is on closing the ‘skills gap.’

In fact, a recent study by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 86 percent of almost 1,400 firms surveyed were having difficulty filling available positions for carpenters, supervisors and additional industry titles. Now, more than ever, initiatives that address the skills gap have an added importance.

“As an organization with a rich history in the construction industry, we are incredibly proud to be involved in a cause that gives back to the next generation of people who have a passion for the trades,” said Mara L. Villanueva-Heras, vice president of corporate marketing, CertainTeed. “The time is now to make sure the talent pipeline continues to be filled, so the tradesmen and women of tomorrow are prepared to successfully enter the workforce.”

Scholarship recipients are selected based on a series of criteria, which include an application, a 300-word essay and a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA advisor, or educational/professional mentor. The following winners will be acknowledged at a special reception on Thursday, June 22, 2017, during the 53rd Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY:

  • Harris Lanier: (Construction), Sanford, NC

  • Isaiah Elam: (Carpentry), McCall Creek, MS

  • Sam Vitez (Carpentry) Whitehouse Station, NJ

  • Will Lee: (HVAC) Leland, MS

  • Eddie Escamilla (Electrical) Las Vegas, NV

“We are so grateful CertainTeed and Fine Homebuilding have stepped up for this cause focusing on the next generation,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA. “We are thrilled to be joined in honoring these incredibly deserving men and women.”

“Fine Homebuilding is committed to supporting and honoring those who are focused on pursuing their passion for the trades,” said Rob Yagid, editorial director, Fine Homebuilding. “Teaming up with CertainTeed to benefit the youth has been an honor and a privilege.”

Each year, 100,000 SkillsUSA students complete technical programs that enable them to be job-ready on ‘day one.’

For more information about CertainTeed and their mission to #KeepCraftAlive, visit

For more information about SkillsUSA, visit

For more information on the #KeepCraftAlive initiative, visit

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed has more than 6,300 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The company had total sales of approximately $3.4 billion in 2016.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level.

SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to:

About Fine Homebuilding

Fine Homebuilding is the most trusted and authoritative resource for the residential construction and remodeling industry and has launched the #KeepCraftAlive campaign to help close the skills gap. Fine Homebuilding sources its content from the job sites and design offices of the most qualified and talented builders and designers in the industry to empower a global workforce with the ability to create the most advanced homes possible. Driven by the ethos that exceptional homes are possible and that craftsmanship is an honorable and worthy pursuit, Fine Homebuilding has become the preferred media brand for professionals, deeply knowledgeable enthusiasts, industry influencers, and forward-thinking companies, who are collectively committed to shaping the way we build.

With the #KeepCraftAlive campaign, Fine Homebuilding is leveraging all of its resources to bring awareness to the skills gap cause, partnering with industry organizations and influencers to build awareness of the skills training and educational opportunities that exist in this country, and funding student scholarships with Skills USA to support those who want to pursue a path in the trades. Fine Homebuilding is committed to celebrating the value of true craftsmanship in all trades in order to influence the cultural narrative about what it means to be a respected, successful professional. For more information about Fine Homebuilding and the #KeepCraftAlive initiative, go to: