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.