ETS, Habitat for Humanity Break Ground on Employee-Funded Home
900 ETS employees donate $117,000 to build home
- Jason Baran
- Jason Baran
Princeton, N.J. (April 3, 2009) —
Educational Testing Service and Habitat for Humanity Trenton Area yesterday broke ground on the new ETS House project. The development will create a new home for the partner family, Saul and Silvia Landa, and their two-year-old son, Saul, Jr.
Through the ETS Employees’ Community Action Fund, more than 900 ETS employees contributed $117,000 to fund the cost of the new home. In addition, they and their families will contribute to the labor needed to build the house. Construction on the ETS House project will commence immediately and continue through December. The first ETS volunteers are scheduled for April 8.
“There is so much negativity surrounding the housing market today,” Kurt Landgraf, ETS president and CEO said. “Being able to help make the dream of owning a home come true for the Landas is truly a rare and extremely gratifying cause for celebration.”
Steve Brame, Executive Director, Habitat-Trenton agreed, “ETS and its employees have really risen to the occasion. I am proud of the partnership between ETS and Habitat for Humanity of Trenton, in coming together to build a home for a deserving family.”
“The project directly supports ETS’s mission to advance individual opportunity and social well-being, and a home is well-being come to life,” added Eleanor Horne, Vice President of ETS’s Social Investment Fund. “This is a wonderful example of ETS employees taking an active role in our commitment to community service.”
Landgraf added, “I am deeply proud of the employees who are contributing their time and energy to this project. They embody our commitment to improve communities in which we live and work.”
ETS volunteers will work at the site every Wednesday, and at least one Saturday per month will be reserved for ETS staff and their friends and family. ETS already has over 70 employee volunteers signed up to work, including several work groups.
While the funding and labor are surely challenging tasks, choosing a partner family provided an equally difficult challenge.
Habitat for Humanity-Trenton’s Family Selection Committee evaluates applicants based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the no-interest loan. Moreover, partner families must fulfill a “sweat equity” commitment of contributing 500 volunteer hours towards the mission of Habitat for Humanity-Trenton, most of which is in the construction of their or another home. The committee, in cooperation with several ETS volunteers, chose the Landas as the partner family for the ETS House.
“We're pleased to be partnering with such an energetic young family who so deserve a home to raise their child,” Landgraf says.
Saul senior’s father, a member of one of the first Habitat partner families in the neighborhood, will be helping his son with the labor they need to contribute toward the construction of their home.
The Landas are expected to move into their new home in January 2010.
For more information and to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Trenton Area, please visit www.habitatta.org.
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.