Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Benoit.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have always enjoyed explaining things to people and seeing the light go on. Although I started out as an environmental scientist, I found my true calling in education 25 years ago. I love helping people realize that they are smarter than they think they are.
In 2014, I became President of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT). This new role deepened my commitment to provide educational pathways to well-paying jobs for the young people of Boston. I work in particular with young people who have fewer opportunities based on their income, race, gender and home address. I want to make sure that BFIT is a resource for urban youth and a catalyst for community prosperity.
Before joining BFIT, I spent 17 years with an environmental laboratory and consulting firm that supported businesses, individuals and water companies in public health and regulatory compliance. Running a business gave me insight into workforce development and working as a consultant prepared me to work as an educator.
Has it been a smooth road?
Although the college first admitted students in 1908 and traces its roots to Benjamin Franklin’s will in 1790, BFIT is still not very well known. With every graduating class (three times a year) we place folks in solid middle class jobs. But still we have to work hard to recruit students to enter our 12 programs. Some people assume that BFIT must be expensive since it is a private college. Others have a bias against associate degree programs. But we haven’t raised tuition in five years. We keep students’ out of pocket costs as low as possible with financial aid and scholarships. And students who earn associate degrees graduate two years faster and with less student debt, while being qualified for jobs in some of the fastest growing fields in our economy.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
BFIT is a nonprofit college that educates and trains diverse urban youth for the jobs of today and the future. The focus of our education is STEM and we combine the practicality of vocational education with the intellectual exploration of liberal arts.
We have and continue to serve as an economic engine in the City of Boston. BFIT offers several associate degree programs and a growing number of bachelor’s degree programs in technical fields where there is strong job growth. BFIT has the state’s only bachelor’s programs in Health Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Automotive Management. We also have the state’s only associate degree program in opticianry. BFIT works closely with more than 85 industry partners to create pipelines for training, jobs, and internships for each student.
BFIT is a leader in educating young Black and Latino men from Boston’s communities.
Approximately 80% of BFIT students are young men of color. Our students are the definition of resilient. They tend to be people whose intelligence and creativity is expressed through their hands instead of their voice. Such students often find themselves marginalized in high school because they don’t fit the mold and as a result lack confidence. At BFIT, they are able to thrive and gain jobs that will earn them a living wage. Our graduation rate is twice the national average and three times the Massachusetts average for two year colleges and we have a 93 percent job placement rate upon graduation.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Boston is a hub for higher education institutions and a world-class city for intellectual curiosity and academic pursuit. It also ranks within the top 10 places in the U.S. for STEM jobs. In the next few years, Massachusetts will have 300,000 jobs available that will require STEM skills. However, along with these opportunities, Boston faces immense challenges around income inequality and racial equity. In that regard, a college degree and in demand technical skills are more valuable than ever. BFIT is poised to help meet the demand for new workers in STEM related jobs and to promote greater educational attainment for young people of color in the City of Boston.
- Associate Degree and Certificates $16,950 per year
- Bachelor’s Degree $18,190 per year
- Address: 41 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 02116
- Website: www.bfit.edu
- Phone: (617) 588-1368
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/franklintech?ref=hl
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/BFITinvolved