Developing Skills for The Future of Haiti’s Renewable Energy Industry

Director of Ecole Professionnelle Saint Joseph Artisan, Simon Vallent signs grant agreement with the USAID LEVE Project.

On March 22, 2018, the USAID Local Enterprise and Value Chain Enhancement (LEVE) Project provided a partner contribution grant to Ecole Professionnelle Saint Joseph Artisan (EPSJA), a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school. The purpose of the grant is to assist the EPSJA in developing advanced solar energy training courses and strengthening their industry outreach program. USAID LEVE’s support will assist the school in creating and maintaining linkages with the private sector – while in the process identifying internships and job opportunities in Haiti’s growing solar energy industry.

Ecole Professionnelle Saint Joseph Artisan is a fast-growing and reputable TVET, with vast vocational training experience in the Port-au-Prince area. They currently, however, have few linkages with the marketplace and limited outreach capacity. As the market demand for higher-skilled technicians continues to increase, the school must strive to meet the demands of the solar energy sector. The school needs to have a solid understanding of the local market expectations so they can develop and provide training modules that meet current standards and the market’s actual need, thereby facilitating placement of alumni and future graduates to the job market.

The USAID LEVE grant will provide support to EPSJA’s Advanced Renewable Energy training program that will retrain 20 graduates currently employed. EPSJA will link with five reputable private sector firms to develop a curriculum that is adapted to current market needs. They will work with these firms to integrate internships in the program for on-the-job training to ensure students are adapting to the new technologies provided by the firms on the market.  The school will also engage the firms in a needs assessment to evaluate market demands and identify job opportunities for graduates of the program. These activities will improve the school’s management practices, track alumni placement and execute evaluations of intern performance with participating private sector companies throughout the training period.

The Ecole Professionnelle Saint Joseph Artisan vocational school was founded in Port-au-Prince in 2012 by the French-based religious order of Emmanuel and is managed by the local Haitian foundation, La Fondation Sainte Marie. The school receives support from the French and Belgian governments and provides technical and vocational training based on a French curriculum in various disciplines, including construction and solar energy. For this particular project, the school will partner with Fondation Electricite de France (EDF) and Energies Sans Frontieres.

With USAID LEVE’s support, EPSJA is building a strong outreach program targeting the renewable energy industry at large but also strengthening their placement services in order to improve their relationship with the private sector companies, enrolled students and alumni. Their efforts will help improve their placement rate at 5% every year and improve the skill sets of over 100 students for the next three years.