December 20, 2011
Meg Galloway Pearce, 202-572-4045, or email@example.com
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Announces $1.5M Toward Workforce Development
Grants reflect investments Haitian businesses need to thrive
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund continues to help Haitians chart their own successful future with nearly $1.5M in new grants to organizations bolstering the Haitian workforce. The three grants, announced today, will promote the training of hospitality workers, entrepreneurs, students, and teachers.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a $264,000 grant to the Oasis Foundation to revive l’École Hôtelière Haitienne (the Haiti Hotel School). Destroyed by the earthquake, the school, an institution under Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, was the only comprehensive hospitality training school of its kind in the country. With this funding, the school can now welcome hospitality students back to complete their training, and matriculate future students passionate about careers in the hospitality industry. Some of the graduates will go on to careers at the Oasis Hotel, and others, with the help of the school, will seek hospitality industry jobs at other businesses throughout Haiti.
“Just as access to jobs is crucial for Haiti’s development, local businesses—especially the many new hotels under construction—must have access to a skilled workforce for sustainable economic growth,” Director of the Oasis Foundation, Mrs. Hildegard Epstein Cassis said. “With this grant, we will be able to provide hospitality workers with the skills essential to building back a better Haiti.”
Earlier this year, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a $2M equity investment in the Oasis Hotel, a business-class hotel in Port-au-Prince whose construction was halted after the earthquake. The Oasis Foundation, a nonprofit established by the hotel, is partnering with the Haitian Hotel School and Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, with additional support from Occidental Hotels and the USAID/Haiti Recovery Initiative, to make the training program possible.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a $914,000 grant to Quisqueya University to help enhance the recently established Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to develop both current and future business leaders of Haiti. The Center will provide a range of business development services. It will offer training for local consultants and analysts, facilitate businesses transitioning from the informal to the formal economy, and provide advanced managerial training. From classroom training to hands-on case studies, the Center will give entrepreneurs the skills necessary for their businesses to succeed.
“Given Quisqueya’s track record, I am confident that this Center will play a key role in improving the business environment in Haiti,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s Vice President of Programs and Investments, Paul Altidor said. “The Center will be a destination for business people of all levels. Everyone from aspiring entrepreneurs to senior business executives will have access to an array of resources and training to enable their businesses to thrive.”
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is also strengthening Haitian accountants, managers, and other professionals through improved access to information technology. The Fund’s $285,646 grant to the Haitian for-profit enterprise EducaTech will provide computer equipment, educational resources, and technology training for students and faculty at Haiti’s state university.
EducaTech will establish a digital library at Haiti’s Institute of Management and International Studies (INAGHEI), with computers and programs, digital boards, and electronic databases. Students, faculty, and staff will go through EducaTech’s training program on the use of this software and hardware, and then will go on to train even more students.
The vision of EducaTech is to give all Haitian young people access to books and electronics, and use it to create a competitive and productive workforce that will grow Haiti’s economy. “In Haiti,” EducaTech, co-founder Kesner Pharel explained, “we can live much better through technology.”