Bunker Hill Community College

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Bunker Hill Community College Awarded $100,000 Cummings Grant

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Bunker Hill Community College Foundation, Inc. is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants through Cummings Foundation's $25 Million Grant Program. Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) was chosen from a total of 590 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $100,000 over the next two years.

three people holding the Cummings Grant bannerBHCC will use the funding to contribute to a just and equitable post-pandemic economic recovery in Massachusetts through a Rapid Recovery and Reemployment (R3) Program that will allow students to study over a shorter period, develop skills in a field, and earn an industry-recognized credential, which makes them employable quicker.

The R3 Program at BHCC is a unique initiative that allows students or community members impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn to get back in the game with financially supported training. An Employment Placement Specialist will lead this program, and eligible participants will have access to full tuition and materials scholarships, as well as a stipend for successful attendance and completion. Students who are unemployed or demonstrate financial need will be considered first.

"With this generous support, we can meet urgent workforce needs by placing trained individuals with local employers in the diverse communities we serve. It is a win-win for students and the local economy," said Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, Kristen McKenna.

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. 

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, most of which exclusively benefits the Foundation. 

"We aim to help meet the needs of people in all segments of our local community," said Cummings Foundation executive director Joel Swets. "It is the incredible organizations we fund, however, that do the actual daily work to empower our neighbors, educate our children, fight for equity, and so much more." 

With the help of about 80 volunteers, the Cummings Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previous received Cummings Foundation Grants. Bunker Hill Community College Foundation received another grant from the Cummings Foundation in 2017 to support the C-Town Business Pathways program. 

"We have adopted a democratic approach to philanthropy, which empowers an impressive roster of dedicated volunteers to decide more than half of our entire grant winners each year," said Swets. "We benefit from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives; they benefit from a meaningful and fulfilling experience, and the nonprofits often benefit from increased exposure and new advocates."

This year's grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including social justice, homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 43 different cities and towns. 

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 800 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org. Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $300 million to Greater Boston nonprofits.  

CAPTION: Bunker Hill Community College Foundation thanks the Cummings Foundation. Pictured (l-r) is Kristen McKenna, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, CNA student Vienna Erazo, and Professor Lateia Johnson. 

About The Bunker Hill Community College Foundation, Inc.

The Bunker Hill Community College Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1986. Its mission is to obtain resources to support Bunker Hill Community College, thereby enabling students with diverse educational, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds to benefit from a high quality, affordable, post-secondary education. Additional information is available at www.bhcc.edu/foundation 

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the three largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org 

Alison Harding, Cummings Foundation, Phone: (781) 932-7093; Email: aeh@cummings.com 

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About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.