These two months saw a lot of activity on campus and in strategic planning for the company. Throughout the months of September and October, the construction team worked on sourcing equipment and materials, installing equipment purchased by large grants, continuing to build out the tilt-up and metal fabrication facilities, and overseeing the complete overhaul / upgrade of our solar power system at the Training Center. In late October, the Board of Directors and staff Team Leads met in California to discuss and decide on Extollo's three-year strategic plan - an ambitious set of goals to train 1,000 students and to achieve financial self-sustainability through revenue from our construction operations.
Check out this video of the Training Center taken by Michael Elola while he was visiting Haiti:
After graduates Beams Buisson and Tom Engery completed 10 weeks of on-the-job Level 2 training, Beams' performance earned him the opportunity to be promoted to assistant trainer for Masonry Level 1.
In preparation for a 4th quarter practicum teaching alumni how to fabricate roof trusses, a first draft supplemental curriculum has been developed for this training.
The two-week Level 1 Masonry training class was held on October 4th with 14 students enrolled and 13 passing the class. A new section was added to training materials to teach rebar tying, along with a video tutorial.
EIPP (Extollo in Port-au-Prince) CAMPUS:
A Masonry Level 1 graduation ceremony took place on the Extollo campus where all 15 students graduated. The students had an opportunity to tour the site and learn more about the other trades Extollo teaches and see the work being completed by other graduates on the security wall practicum. They also took a turn laying block on the wall.
We are looking forward to holding 6 EIPP classes in 2022: 4 in masonry and 2 in concrete
The front gate received a facelift and the masonry of the back security wall is complete! There will still be a top rail added and the metal door will be installed at the back entrance to the property.
In September, 10Power completed the installation of the updated/upgraded solar power system at the Training Center. With the 36 panels and 32 gel batteries, we have a very robust electrical system that now runs air conditioners, non-welding equipment, and all lights. The gel batteries are virtually maintenance-free, and the amount of electricity we generate - and store - is able to meet the growing electricity demands we will see in the years ahead. This is also a HUGE blessing as Haiti is currently dealing with fuel shortages and one gallon of gasoline can cost between $12 and $20!!
Sherman Balch and Keith Cobell had the opportunity to speak at the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) Convention in St. Louis, MO. Keith and Sherman were able to share about Extollo and our vision for tilt-up in Haiti. We are hopeful to recruit expat trainers/leaders, as well as begin to connect with potential sponsors as we bring tilt-up construction to Haiti.
A significant portion of October was dedicated to planning and preparation for a full-day strategy retreat in Pleasanton, CA around the objectives of the three-year strategic plan. The trade school team developed a strategy to expand the trade school with the goal of training 1000 students by the end of 2024. Focuses for the training school include training, on-the-job training and preparing students to join the workforce and connecting them with jobs. Revised start-up and on-going budgets were created for each trade which will better inform costs for new classes with training partners.
We are so grateful for our Extollo board and team leads and the passion they share to move our vision forward in Haiti. We were blessed to have General Manager, Junior Medard, visiting to give wisdom and guidance in discussions about the future of Extollo. This is a very difficult time with much unrest and uncertainty in the country, but we are trusting God to give us direction day to day.
The group had amazing planning sessions and were even able to fit in a little fun and bonding at the racetrack.
Our 2021 year-end campaign will be a bit different this year - and every year going forward. As an organization we've decided to present it to you (and the general public) only once by email, and once in a mailing. We know everyone (including us!) gets hammered by solicitations and requests for money at year end - and it's no surprise when you realize that most nonprofits get 40% of their total annual income through year-end fundraising. So many nonprofits feel it necessary to ask for donations often the last few months of the year.
But we think differently about all this. We believe that those who get us, and who believe in the unique and strategic approach we take to helping Haitians build a stronger Haiti, don't need convincing. They just need a way to put their resources to work in the way they have been called to. For this reason, we believe people don't need to be asked over and over again.
So if Extollo's work in Haiti fits with your calling in making a difference in the world, please make sure to check your email and be on the lookout for a square envelope in your mailbox arriving soon.