Dear Thunder Valley,
I am presently looking for employment in the Pine Ridge area in construction project management and home building and repair. After a search and an email I learned about a construction manager position with Thunder Valley. I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is developing sustainable affordable housing and green spaces for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal of my current work is to use simple and effective sustainable environmentally friendly housing designs and land cultivation techniques to empower people to live better lives. Often communities in low income areas do not have access to quality living environments. Development of quality affordable green buildings and land designs offers to ameliorate the stress associated with poverty. High quality housing built from local materials offer the creation of much needed jobs while improving the quality of reservation housing. Currently, I am working with Lakota Solar Enterprises on Pine Ridge Reservation with Henry Red Cloud. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made with locally derived resources and labor. The blocks are thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and solar panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A second project is a solar powered $35 computer for running Minecraft to teach youth sustainable building techniques digitally. By engaging youth in green construction education, I hope to increase the amount of Lakota youth community engagement in the real life construction projects of Lakota Solar Enterprises.
Please accept my application materials for this position. As you will see, I have a diverse background in a range of areas, all of which are pertinent to working in a project manager role. I believe this training, as well as my acute attention to detail, my goal-driven personality, and my ability to successfully work in a team, and independently, have prepared me for this position. I had a diverse research experience as a chemistry graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, ranging from organic chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics to structural chemical biology. During my graduate career I balanced two different projects. I gained a breadth of research training by pursuing these two diverse projects, ideal for application as a construction project manager. In my postdoctoral work, I worked in the area of green chemistry catalyst design for biofuel production. I have learned to effectively communicate, both written and spoken, on a variety of science areas. Furthermore, I have an extensive and varied experience in the nonprofit sector, having worked for several years in faith-based and secular nonprofit settings. I am confident in presenting my work to diverse audiences, capable of writing reports for grants and other program evaluation activities. I have experience in home building construction by volunteering for home building projects over the past few years. I have extensive project management skills, having completed a Ph.D. at one of the top chemistry schools in the world. I maintained full control of managing the financial and logistical aspects of my dissertation work, working in teams when necessary. Completing my chemistry research work in graduate school and postdoctoral time required extensive cooperative teamwork. Furthermore, in the work I developed the skill of writing grants for large sums of money and budgeting the funds to complete multiyear work. In these efforts, I developed the ability to lead a team and to plan and work on the “big picture” while attending to the details.
I believe that a position as a construction project manager would be an ideal fit for my talents as I am able to rapidly and effectively assimilate new technological topics. I am equally capable of doing the hard physical work of home construction and repair and the complex mental and social work dealing with managing building and home repair projects. In the position, I would learn building, business, and management skills that could improve my ability to help the Lakota people. I am comfortable adapting to new cultural situations, having worked extensively with African-American and refugee populations in Atlanta. I am confident that working with Thunder Valley would provide a stimulating environment in which I could thrive. I look forward to the prospect of communicating with you soon!
William Kaya Erbil, Ph.D.
Thunder Valley Position:
Thunder Valley Application Materials: