MIDLAND, Mich. - Efforts by Dow Corning Corporation, Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (FSCT) and Habitat for Humanity gave more than 50 coatings industry professionals the opportunity to help construct four homes in New Orleans before the International Coatings Expo (ICE) last November.

Working in a subdivision where almost all the houses were condemned, the volunteers were able to experience the situation in New Orleans firsthand. Volunteers were divided into four smaller groups in the city’s Ninth Ward, an area hit extremely hard by flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

One group mixed and poured concrete for the foundation of a newly started home, while another painted trim and added the finishing touches on a house. The other two groups installed sub-flooring and built soffits, the underside surface of eaves. Additional volunteers worked with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the facility and onsite, helping demolish a house that was beyond repair.

A wide range of coatings industry professionals participated, including sales representatives, researchers, engineers, consultants and educators.

“The idea originated with Dow Corning and FSCT,” said Laura Wolak, Dow Corning Americas coatings market manager. “All of us were deeply touched by the tragedy and devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Dow Corning traditionally exhibits at ICE, and as soon as we found out that this year’s event was being held in New Orleans, we were committed to find some way to contribute to the city’s rebirth. Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity provided an ideal opportunity because it’s personal and hands-on. And no experience was necessary, just a willingness to serve.”