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About Foundation Builders

How Foundation Builders International Began
 
 
In September 2010 John Wicks was in Port Au Prince, Haiti doing reconstruction work after the earthquake which had devastated the city on January 12th. Through John's work with local tradespeople rebuilding structures that had been destroyed by the quake, he realized that there needed to be a better way to teach the local population how to design and build according to the International Building Code (IBC).
 

As a result of this realization, John modified his teaching curriculum to accommodate the gaps in the Haitian trade school process. It was then he began to explain and demonstrate the proper techniques of concrete making, block laying and rebar design and placement to maximize structural strength, to the local craftsmen. John and the work crews he was training began to use International Code Council, (ICC) otherwise known as the International Building Code, IBC  as their standard of construction whether it was a small or large structure. The tradesmen started to see that building correctly was easier than the ways they had been using to build in the past, and they could use the same materials without an increase in cost.

 
Robert Muncy was also in Haiti that September, having been invited by a Haitian businessman to meet with a group of leaders in Bainet to discuss how to impact their community by bringing needed resources into the area. After spending several weeks in Bainet talking with local leaders and looking at how economic development could affect Bainet and the surrounding area, Robert was heading home. He had arranged to spend the last night in Port Au Prince which happened to be the same location where John was staying, to catch his flight home the next day. John and Robert met and spent several hours discussing their thoughts and perspectives on Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
 
John and Robert’s visits to Haiti set the stage for a “call to action” and created a passion to assist Haiti in quality and safe building practices, according to internationally accepted standards.
 
After both John and Robert returned to the States, they continued to discuss what they were thinking regarding making a positive impact in Haiti. Many hours of brainstorming and trying different techniques as they both traveled back and forth to Haiti, implementing various ideas they had developed, led them to the conclusion that they should team up under a single organization. What they both ultimately realized was that if they could bring together both construction training and entrepreneur/ business development that could be made available through a vocational institute, they could adequately train and prepare the local people to have a more systematic approach to regional prosperity and empowerment.
            
With the mission set, Foundation Builders International was born, and John and Robert began to assemble the initial board of Directors and develop the Institute. They added Dave Miller – owner of a structural truss manufacturing business, Gary Moore – former contractor and professional engineer, Chris Wolfe – attorney, Tim Smith – owner of a web designing business, and William King – master carpenter in the Carpenter’s Union for over 25 years.
 
 
Who We are and What do We Do
Emerging nations are severely challenged when their workforce does not have access to proper vocational training. Because of this deficiency in a skilled workforce, construction projects only utilize the local workforce for the most menial tasks on a project. Without being trained for skilled jobs, they can’t gain the experience required for these types of projects, resulting in a loss of income to the local labor force. This disparity leaves the country’s trade workforce in an inferior position.
 
            Foundation Builders Institute is an organization whose purpose is to train nationals in skills that will change nations by improving the quality of life and provide a higher standard of living through the careers in the vocation and business of their choice. It was initially created to allow Haitians the opportunity to gain these skills and provides a way to change this dynamic by training the local workers into skilled tradespeople.
            Foundation Builders is a humanitarian, educational organization designed to assist foreign countries by educating their nationals with proper construction methods as described in the International Construction Code. Some foreign countries may not be up to date on construction code practices ensuring a safe building process. In some cases, many casualties have resulted from inadequate construction methods as is the fact with Port au Prince, Haiti where over 300,000 people lost their lives during the earthquake of January 2010.    
            Foundation Builders recognizes that nationals of foreign countries need help with their construction education, but at the same time need to continue working to maintain a living. With this understanding, we have developed a construction curriculum structure, specifically designed to update their building methods using an approach that permits a continuing working environment. With this approach, we endeavor to correct existing practices and at the same time to teach appropriate skills and methods to new generations. With both vocational skills and economic development skills, the graduate of Foundation Builders Institute is well equipped to prosper personally while being a valuable asset to their local community.
            Foundation Builders assists foreign countries with their construction and business development education by providing a professional technical school, organizing domestic and overseas training teams, providing supervision, and performing the classroom instruction with a hands-on application to completely illustrate and galvanize their construction training. Our core vocational training modules are Concrete, and Concrete Forming, Masonry, Welding, Carpentry, Truss Fabrication Electrical, Plumbing, and Construction Management. On the economic track for the Institute, all our students go through our basic economics class. The person that either has a business or is looking to learn the skills to start a business will continue in the business school while receiving vocational training.  
 
One of the most critical discoveries was the lack of education about structural training and application.  At the core of these discoveries, mixing concrete improperly and inadequate welding training stood out to us.  Given the imperative of this deficiency, these areas became our focus of attention as a “where to start” emphasis and are our fundamental courses of study.  The builders and tradesmen we taught at our exploratory preliminary school sessions said to us, “no one ever taught us the right way to build.”  Not only was the response that we received positively overwhelming, we knew then we were on the right track, and that our mandate to teach the IBC requirements was solidified.
 
As an educational, humanitarian organization, our mandate is to share our advanced construction technology through a practical classroom procedure. Using our hands-on method, we illustrate correct techniques, simultaneously taking full advantage of actually needed facility projects under construction as our on-site classroom. In this way, Foundation Builders International dovetails the requirement for education with the need for new humanitarian facilities, such as orphanages, hospitals and the like.
 
Additionally, we work with our students to help them understand the nature of operating a business. Gaining this understanding provides students with not just the vocational skill sets needed, but also a firm understanding of economic realities, business development, and administration. Essentially, students are prepared to be the new generation of community leaders in both the trades and business enterprises.
 
Lack of construction education and proper practice has a significant negative effect on governments, societies, and people groups normally, but is further amplified when catastrophic events result in deaths of epic proportions. Foundation Builders also reaches out to and works with government officials to show them of our purpose to better their people and their country.
 
Funding an Institute
 
Part of this effort led us to Kenya, where we are currently meeting with the leaders of organizations that oversees many orphanages and other humanitarian groups in Kenya.  Presently, without qualified vocational training in the country, construction and technical jobs are going to foreign companies, so building projects have little benefit to the local population economically.  By establishing our Institute, we can reverse this trend bring awarding jobs to nationals and significantly improving their economy and physical structure.           
           
Foundation Builders Institute is in the process of establishing partnerships with trade and business organizations who can provide funding and resources to aid in the education of our students. The goal in the Kenyan project is to establish a vocational training facility, temporarily bringing in a US faculty that will teach the first two years, in which during that time we will be working to develop and employ Kenyans as teachers for the program.  We are currently pursuing buildings available for lease in Nairobi near several orphanages and other institutions, and have discovered a resource of older students that are interested in teaching positions. In these first two years, we will have established the viability of the Institute,  concurrently training teachers to teach the various skills according to our standards. By year five, we plan for the faculty of the school to be operated entirely by nationals and economically viable with Foundation Builders only providing a support role to assist in the schools continued success and sustainability.
 
What you can do
Anyone is encouraged to contact Foundation Builders to see how they can assist, either financially, or helping to establish local programs in other countries.
 
Trade organizations can assist Foundation Builders Institute through providing a curriculum that leads to certification of the student. Foundation Builders is a non-profit 501c3 humanitarian organization which funds our operating cost through grants. We are also looking for US tradespeople who are interested in teaching short-term (one month or less) and long-term  (six months or longer) at our Institutes. Kenya is the focus for the next several years. We also are teaching models (one to two weeks) in Port Au Prince Haiti.
 
Who We are and What do We Do

Humanitarian Organization

Foundation Builders is a humanitarian, educational organization designed to assist foreign countries by educating their nationals with proper construction methods as described in the International Construction Code. Some foreign countries may not be up to date on construction code practices ensuring a safe building process. In some cases, many casualties have resulted from inadequate construction methods as is the fact with Port au Prince, Haiti where over 300,000 people lost their lives during the earthquake of January 2010.    

Vision

Foundation Builders recognizes that nationals of foreign countries need help with their construction education but at the same time need to continue working to maintain a living. Therefore we have developed a construction curriculum designed to update their methods in a time frame that allows a continuing working environment. We also reach out to orphanages across the globe training young adults with proper construction skills. With this approach, we endeavor to correct existing practices and at the same time to teach appropriate skills and methods to new generations. With both vocational skills and economic development skills, the graduate of Foundation Builders Institute is well equipped to prosper personally while being a valuable asset to their local community.

Mission Statement

Foundation Builders International assists foreign countries with their construction and business development education by providing a professional technical school, organizing domestic and overseas training teams, providing supervision, and performing the classroom instruction with a hands-on application to completely illustrate and galvanize their construction training.    

Opportunities for Construction Education

It is evident that the lack of construction education and proper practice has severely affected governments, societies, and people groups when catastrophic events result in deaths of epic proportions. As an educational, humanitarian organization, we have the mandate to share our advanced construction technology through a practical classroom procedure. Using a hands-on approach illustrating correct methods and at the same time taking full advantage of needed facility projects as our on-site classroom, Foundation Builders International dovetails the requirement for education with the need for new humanitarian facilities, such as orphanages, hospitals and the like. Our students not only have the vocational skill sets but also have a firm understanding of economic and business development and administration. Our students are ready to be the new generation of community leaders in both the trades and business enterprises.



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