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Construction Appreciation in Haiti

Written by:

Bruce Kirkpatrick,

Extollo Board Secretary and Communications Team

In the U.S. we take good, sound construction for granted. For the most part, roofs don’t leak, walls are straight and true, and electricity flows when you flip the switch.

In Haiti there’s a much different reality.

At Extollo we’re training and educating so that Haitians can appreciate the construction trades and how they affect everyday life.

That’s why we celebrate Construction Appreciation week, September 12-16.

When Sherman Balch, our Founder and Chairman, first visited Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquake of January 2010, he quickly evaluated the reasons for such widespread devastation—faulty construction. That’s not an unusual problem in third-world countries mostly because supplies are limited, and money is scarce.

But construction standards don’t always rely on supplies and funds. Education is critical. So, at Extollo’s Training Center, we teach the basics of construction, training up a workforce of character and capability while adding strength and safety to Haiti’s infrastructure.

We continue to create new training classes, work with our alumni for job placement, and reach out to other Haitian institutions to educate and entice them to our skill sets.

It’s been a process. When our trainees first see the difference in concrete wall construction, for instance, they realize the difference our guidelines and procedures can make. When they see how a roof is constructed to withstand hurricane winds or how the proper techniques of welding ensure strength and stability, they can virtually see the future. When Haitian men and women gain the skills to build sound structures, train others, and lead the upswing in construction standards, they envision a stronger future for their country.

For Extollo’s staff, it’s a joy to see the pride that our workers take when they acquire their new skills. And how they are now leading most of the training at our site, ratcheting up their skills to train their fellow Haitians.

We’re passing along our appreciation and commitment to construction. We like to say we’re helping unleash the potential of the Haitian people.

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Sep 11, 2022

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