Anyone who’s spent time with John Cruz has likely heard him say that companies can’t grow without attracting and retaining good people.  John once again proved that he means it when the Cruz Companies recently donated $250,000 to establish the Walter Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund at Boston’s Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT).

Beginning this fall, the scholarship will provide financial support for up to two students every academic year who live in zip codes assigned to Dorchester, Roxbury or Mattapan in Boston; have demonstrated financial need; and are studying construction management, HVAC-R, Practical Electricity, or a related program area at BFIT.  Students should have already been enrolled for at least one semester to demonstrate their dedication to the program.

Walter Williams was a longtime Roxbury resident.  During a career in city government and as a community organizer he played a key role in establishing the Boston Residency Jobs Policy, a 1983 ordinance that required major construction projects to meet employment goals for Boston residents, people of color and female construction workers.

Cruz, a member of the ABC Massachusetts Board of Directors, called Williams “a passionate advocate for minority businesses and a leader in community development” who “saw construction as a great opportunity for wealth generation and career growth. 

Since 2007, Cruz Companies has also supported the educational dreams of over 15 students via the John “Bertie” Cruz Scholarship at Bridgewater State University, named in memory of the company’s founder. The scholarship is awarded to a matriculating minority student each year and may be applied to academic expenses such as tuition, housing, books. 

Cruz Companies is the oldest and largest minority-owned construction, real estate development and property management firm in the region, responsible for landmark projects and developments for over 70 years. Cruz Companies’ mission is giving back to the community through providing employment and career opportunities to area residents, hiring local minority contractors and businesses, and increasing affordable and market rate housing. 

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is a private, affordable non-profit technical college.  Like John Cruz, BFIT is committed to providing students with the tools to succeed in technical fields.

The full press release can be found here.