Wentworth Institute of Technology
Quake repair will gain from Wentworth Institute's pro bono training effort.

More than 125 Haitian architects, engineers and other local industry professionals now have new construction management skills to take back to rebuilding projects in the earthquake-ravaged nation, thanks to a pro bono training program in its third year at Boston's Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT).

The institute's 80-hour "train-the-trainer" program is developing a core of Haitians to spread modern CM and project management practices to hundreds of other local professionals to boost restoration two years after Haiti's devastating magnitude-7.0 quake and to improve its notoriously shoddy construction. Grads must contractually agree to train peers at home.

WIT staff and alumni and Boston-area professionals volunteer to teach as well as cover many program expenses, says Pierre Arthur Elysee, an instructor and Haitian expatriate who helped found the effort. Three engineers from a Haitian water and sanitation agency were among recent participants. "The training has enabled them to do a better job of securing water wells in Haiti," he says.

"The program includes seminars, workshops and labs that focus on actual work experience," says Olatunji St. Victor, a structural engineer in a Haiti office of Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin and one of 45 June graduates who now are CM-certified. Training focuses on several skills, including construction failure analysis, planning and scheduling, quality control, safety, budgets and risk assessment.

St. Victor says he will use his skills on five Port-au-Prince projects he now supervises. "It gave me back a little bit of optimism," says the engineer.