BlueHub Capital invests $19.5 Million in Franklin Cummings Tech to advance accessible technical education for underserved communities

April 4th, 2024

BlueHub Capital, a national nonprofit community development finance organization, today announces a $19.5 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investment in the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (FCTech), one of the oldest technical colleges in the country delivering transformative technical and trade education that leads to economic advancement.

Established in 1908 with endowments from Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Carnegie, FCTech serves primarily low-income students of color, offering education in technology and career readiness in clean tech, renewable energy, cyber security, and other areas in which there are in-demand jobs.

BlueHub’s investment will support the construction of FCTech's new campus in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, encompassing a 68,000-square-foot educational hub tailored for advanced technical training. The facility's capacity will expand to accommodate 1,465 students, signifying a 76% increase from the current enrollment. 

The project's commencement was marked with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 12 attended by Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, city and state officials, community partners, philanthropic partners, college leadership, and BlueHub Capital CEO Elyse Cherry.

The new FCTech campus is strategically designed to elevate its educational and vocational programs, with spaces for science, engineering, and technology courses, alongside collaborative and administrative areas. It will feature outdoor zones for hands-on learning and enhanced accessibility for all students.

“Education in technology and engineering is key to building sustainable communities and driving economic growth," said Cherry. "Franklin Cummings Tech's focus on inclusivity and quality education for underserved students sets a standard for addressing disparities in education and the economy. This project goes beyond just a new building. It's about creating opportunities, empowering people, and strengthening our workforce through new skilled training programs in technologies like solar, electric vehicles and robotics. We are excited to contribute to this development and welcome FCTech as our neighbor in Nubian Square.” 

In the financing structure of the FCTech project, BlueHub Capital provided the largest NMTC allocation of $19.5 million with Chase Bank playing a pivotal role as the tax credit investor and provider of additional credits. Additional NMTC allocations from Consortium America, GrowAmerica and Partners for the Common Good provided a combined $44.75 million NMTC allocation to fuel the campus’ construction. The NMTC investment will result in a $12 million subsidy that will enable FCTech to continue providing an affordable education to students regardless of income.

“Our new campus will elevate Franklin Cummings Tech’s ability to prepare our graduates for meaningful, well-paying careers in today’s economy,” said Dr. Aisha Francis, president & CEO of Franklin Cummings Tech. “BlueHub Capital is an essential part of the creative public, private, philanthropic partnership that will make our new campus possible and contribute to Nubian Square’s future as the next high-power educational, cultural, and entrepreneurial hub in Boston.”

The FCTech project not only signifies a leap forward in educational infrastructure and programming but also stands as a significant contributor to job creation, both during the construction phase and in its ongoing operations. Throughout the construction period, the project will support 77 temporary jobs, with an anticipated $16.7 million in contracts (representing 35% of the total) expected to be awarded to businesses owned by people of color.

Once completed, the campus expansion will result in a total of 108 permanent full-time positions—24 more than the current count of 84.

"Our engagement with FCTech illuminates the critical role of accessible, technical education in empowering individuals and uplifting communities," said Brenda Loya, president of BlueHub Managed Assets, an affiliate of BlueHub Capital that leads its NMTC program. “The direct correlation between education and economic stability cannot be overstated. Through targeted investments like this, we aim to bridge the gap, ensuring that opportunities for growth and advancement are within reach for everyone. We are committed to supporting FCTech's mission and the positive ripple effects it has on students' lives and their communities."

FCTech focuses on technology-centric curricula, awarding degrees and certificates aligned with local employers' needs. Graduates enter the workforce with relevant skills, contributing to the Massachusetts economy. The college is committed to educating nontraditional students, providing a strategic opportunity for Greater Boston companies to expand their workforce.

FCTech is dedicated to empowering adults from underserved communities, including those from Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and surrounding areas. FCTech addresses the educational needs of individuals often overlooked by traditional colleges.

Beyond technical workforce training programs, FCTech extends a comprehensive support system through wraparound services. These services encompass emergency aid for students facing housing insecurity, an on-site food pantry, and a wellness collaborative with local institutions. This collaboration aims to increase access to primary and mental health services, ensuring students not only receive an education but also the support needed to overcome barriers to success.

About BlueHub Capital
BlueHub Capital is a mission-driven, nonprofit community development finance organization focused on building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. BlueHub uses innovative financial tools to support projects that make communities more vibrant places to live through four distinct programs: BlueHub Loan Fund (community development financing), BlueHub SUN (foreclosure relief), BlueHub Energy (clean energy access) and One Percent for America (citizenship financing). Visit BlueHub Capital's website for more information about our impact.

About Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
Founded in 1908 in Boston, Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology is one of New England’s oldest colleges of technology. Started with a bequest from Benjamin Franklin and a matching gift from Andrew Carnegie, the private non-profit college offers an affordable education for people seeking technical careers. BFCIT is an affordable, urban college serving the Boston region and committed to student success and career readiness in technology fields. Through personalized support, hands-on learning, and industry-informed curricula, BFCIT prepares graduates for work, life-long learning, and citizenship. For more information, please go to