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John Cruz Receives Black Family Legacy Award from Boston City Council

John Cruz Receives Black Family Legacy Award from Boston City Council

(From left: Councilor Pressley; Cruz Companies President John B. Cruz, III; Cruz Management Director Justin Cruz; Councilor Campbell; Cruz Development Sr. VP Dan Cruz)

Cruz Companies President John B. Cruz, III received the Black Family Legacy Award from At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley during the City Council’s recent Black History Month celebration.

“Although many are unaware, there are black families who’ve lived in Boston and have been making civic contributions for generations,” said Councilor Pressley. “I am excited to honor John Cruz of Cruz Companies, as they represent our past, present and future.”

Cruz was among the prominent local black families honored at the event, which was held late February at the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury and sponsored by Councilors Pressley, Tito Jackson and Andrea Campbell.

Mattapan meeting focuses on building ‘trades pipeline’

Mattapan meeting focuses on building ‘trades pipeline’

(John Cruz speaks to minority contractors during a meeting in Mattapan on Tuesday.)

 

 

 

Cruz Companies President John B. Cruz, III recently joined a group of more than 75 minority contractors and ABC members in Mattapan to discuss ways to increase opportunities for people of color in the construction field.

“The construction field is lacking a solid pipeline of minority talent, but Cruz Companies is working with industry leaders to come together with solutions,” said Cruz. “Together, we are committed to creating opportunities for people in our inner-city communities through contracting opportunities, training and apprenticeship programs.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh recently announced plans to raise the city’s hiring goals to 40 percent people of color. However, a lack of experienced and trained workers remains a barrier.

Cruz Construction, in partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts (ABC) MAPS program and YouthBuild Boston, runs a carpentry apprentice and labor apprentice program with six students currently enrolled; comprising four men and two women.

The program gives young people the opportunity to work alongside their peers while developing skills in the high demand construction field.The four-year apprenticeship program provides apprentices with 4,000 total hours of training in the field and 4,000 in the classroom.

The Mattapan event was held at the Church of the Holy Spirit and hosted by ABC Chair Joe Barbone who thanked the Cruz organization for its work to increase access and opportunity for diverse workers in the industry. This January, Mr. Cruz was inducted into the ABC Board of Directors.

John Cruz Proudly Joins ABC Board of Directors

John Cruz Proudly Joins ABC Board of Directors

Cruz Companies President John B. Cruz, III was inducted to the Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts (ABC) Board of Directors on January 25, 2017 during the organization’s installation of officers event in Davensport.

“I thank ABC for this honor and look forward to working with the association to support Merit Shop principles that allow access and opportunity for all,” said Cruz.

At the event, ABC Chair Joe Barbone welcomed the incoming members to the ABC Board and thanked the entire Cruz Companies organization for its work to support the association and its principles.

ABC is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms.

Cruz Companies Hosts Holiday Gift Giving Celebration for Young Residents in Roxbury

Cruz Companies Hosts Holiday Gift Giving Celebration for Young Residents in Roxbury

​(Back row from left: Cruz Companies President John B. Cruz, III and Cruz Management Director Justin Cruz; forward rows: Cruz Management residents; photo: Eric Haynes, courtesy of Cruz Companies.)

​(Back row from left: Cruz Companies President John B. Cruz, III and Cruz Management Director Justin Cruz; forward rows: Cruz Management residents; photo: Eric Haynes, courtesy of Cruz Companies.)

ROXBURY – Wednesday, December 21, 2016 – Cruz Management hosted its Second Annual Youth Holiday Celebration this week at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club of Roxbury.

Every child between the ages of 0 and 16 received a gift from Cruz Cares (Community, Arts, Recreational and Educational Services), which is Cruz Companies social responsibility arm, a non-profit organization that helps Boston’s urban community.

The event, held December 20, was open to all children that live in a Cruz Management property.

Roxbury Community Comes Together for Cruz Companies’ 31st Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Roxbury Community Comes Together for Cruz Companies’ 31st Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

(From left: Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement Director Alejandra St. Guillen, City Councilor Tito Jackson, State Rep.-elect Chynah Tyler, Cruz Sr. VP Daniel Cruz, Jr., Cruz Management Director Justin Cruz, City of Boston Director of Economic Policy and Research Karilyn Crockett. Photo: Eric Haynes; courtesy of Cruz Companies)

(From left: Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement Director Alejandra St. Guillen, City Councilor Tito Jackson, State Rep.-elect Chynah Tyler, Cruz Sr. VP Daniel Cruz, Jr., Cruz Management Director Justin Cruz, City of Boston Director of Economic Policy and Research Karilyn Crockett. Photo: Eric Haynes; courtesy of Cruz Companies)

BOSTON – Thursday, December 15, 2016 – Members of the Roxbury community joined together to celebrate Cruz Companies’ 31st Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Cox Building Wednesday evening.
“We are delighted to bring members of the community together to celebrate the holidays as part of this great annual tradition,” said Cruz Development Corporation Senior Vice President Daniel Cruz, Jr. “Our motto is ‘Cruz Cares’ and our mission is giving back to the community in many ways as possible.”

During the event, residents sang carols and shared in the Christmas spirit, as children flipped the switch on the tree. ­­­

“Cruz Companies’ Christmas party is one of the most special traditions we have in Roxbury,” said City Councilor Tito Jackson. “It is critical that we allow the inner city to be a place where people can have fun and families can convene. To have all of these diverse voices together signing Christmas carols is a great reflection of the City of Boston.”

“As a Roxbury native, I know how important it is to support area businesses like Cruz Companies,” said Rep-Elect Chynah Tyler, who has been attending Cruz tree lighting ceremonies for years. “That’s how we grow collectively as one community.”

About Cruz Companies: Cruz Companies is one of the largest and oldest minority-owned construction companies in the nation responsible for landmark projects and developments. Cruz Companies’ mission is giving back to the community through increasing affordable housing opportunities, providing good jobs to area residents and hiring other minority businesses.

Mayor Walsh Presents ‘We Are Boston Leadership Award’ to Cruz Companies CEO John Cruz

Mayor Walsh Presents ‘We Are Boston Leadership Award’ to Cruz Companies CEO John Cruz

john-cruz-med

(From left: Director of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement Alejandra St. Guillen, Cruz Companies CEO John B. Cruz, III, Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Photo by Renato Castelo, courtesy of Cruz Companies)

BOSTON – Wednesday, November 30, 2016 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh presented the ‘We Are Boston Leadership Award’ to Cruz Companies CEO John B. Cruz, III this week in recognition of his work to embrace Boston’s immigrant heritage and diversity.

“John Cruz has been a leader in providing good jobs for our residents and supporting minority businesses,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m honored to congratulate John Cruz for his outstanding accomplishments in our city.”

Mayor Walsh presented the award at the ‘We Are Boston Gala’, a multicultural celebration held November 29 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, and hosted by the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement.

“On behalf of our company, I am humbled and honored by this recognition,” said Cruz. “Throughout our history, Cruz Companies has given back to the Boston community by increasing affordable housing options, investing in minority businesses, and providing good jobs to inner-city residents.”

During the event, Mayor Walsh also honored Diane Guerrero from the Netflix show ‘Orange is the New Black’ and Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank for their contributions to diversity and immigrant inclusion.

About Cruz Companies:

Founded by John “Bertie” Cruz, Jr. in 1948, Cruz Companies is the oldest and largest minority construction firm in the region. The John B. Cruz Construction Company is responsible for landmark projects and developments across the region such as the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center, Boston Police Department Headquarters and the Fortress Building. Cruz Development Corporation produces well-designed homes, maintaining the highest standards of workmanship. Cruz Management Company provides quality residential housing management services.

Randolph council picks Cruz to rebuild Devine School site

Randolph council picks Cruz to rebuild Devine School site

In a 5-4 vote, the Randolph Town Council decided on Nov. 7 to grant the development of the former Devine School to Cruz Development Corp. of Roxbury over a second proposal from the team of Michael J. Kmito and Todd A. Sandler, both formerly of Randolph.

Cruz Development bid $1.15 million for the roughly 10-acre site and proposes to build housing for people 55 and older, a community health center, and a nursing training school on the parcel.

Town Manager David C. Murphy said the Town Council will have to approve a formal purchase-and-sale agreement and will probably consider zoning relief for the project. He said approvals for the project will probably “take months.”

Murphy said the town is “most fortunate to have two reputable development companies looking to invest more than $20 million each in the town.”

“It is my hope that we can work with Cruz Development at the Devine site but also find a way for the Sandler proposal to work at another site in town,” said Murphy. “They were both great proposals, and it is my hope to make them both work in the town of Randolph.”

Cruz Companies Training Apprentices to Fill Minority Skills Gap in Boston Construction Fields

Cruz Companies Training Apprentices to Fill Minority Skills Gap in Boston Construction Fields

Thursday, September 15, 2016 – Cruz Companies today celebrated four apprentices completing the mid-point of their construction apprenticeship program, a partnership between Cruz Companies and YouthBuild Boston, designed to fill the minority skills gap in Boston’s construction fields.

“Our apprenticeship program gives young people the opportunity to work alongside their peers while developing skills in the high demand construction field,” said John B. Cruz, III, CEO of Cruz Companies. “In order to grow as a company, we need to have trained apprentices, and these youth represent our future.”

The apprentices just finished their second year of their four-year apprenticeship program at Cruz Construction, which is sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts. Apprentices must complete 4,000 total hours of training in the field and 4,000 in the classroom prior to completion of the program.

At Cruz, apprentices are currently working full-time on basic carpentry skills including: cutting, framing, and installation of barricades, windows, rafters and finishes. After work on Mondays and Thursdays, Cruz organizes transportation for the apprentices to travel to the Gould Construction Institute in Franklin to complete their classroom instruction.

“Working with a minority business like Cruz Companies has been amazing,” said apprentice Jonell Wynter, 26 of Dorchester. “I want to use this experience to learn from Cruz, and one day start my own contracting company.”

The apprentices have been working on Cruz affordable housing projects across the city, including: The Residences at Harvard Commons, Wayne at Columbia Apartments, and Walnut Apartments. At the end of the program, the apprentices will become full carpenters, with an opportunity to continue their work with Cruz Companies.

“My experience with YouthBuild taught me how to grow to become a better person,” said Dorothy Fleming, an inaugural YouthBuild Boston graduate, who now works at Cruz Construction as an Equal Employment Opportunity officer and apprenticeship program coordinator.

“Without YouthBuild, I would have never gotten a career with Cruz,” said Fleming. “It’s been great to help other youth coming through this program to learn this important field, which has been suffering from employment shortages.”

Image courtesy Curz, from left: apprentices Jonell Wynter of Dorchester and Gerard Duclair of Roslindale, Cruz Companies CEO John B. Cruz, III, and apprentices Darius Cruz Corchado of Roxbury and Shayna Hancock of Dorchester

Cruz Companies Sponsors Youth Bike and Swim Trip on Martha’s Vineyard

Cruz Companies Sponsors Youth Bike and Swim Trip on Martha’s Vineyard

MV Bike Trip Photo
MARTHA’S VINEYARD – August 23, 2016 – Cruz Companies recently sponsored its Annual Summer Bike Ride and Swim on Martha’s Vineyard, bringing more than 60 youth, chaperones, and staff to the island for a day of cycling, swimming and sightseeing.

“This is a great opportunity for Boston’s diverse youth to experience the magic of the Vineyard for the first time,” said Justin Cruz, director of Cruz Management. “Cruz Companies is proud to extend this amazing experience to many of our tenants and their children as part of our mission to give back to the community.”

Youth participants ranged up to 17 years in age and travelled from Cruz-managed properties in the Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester and South End neighborhoods of Boston. Participants included students from Boston High Academy, Community Charter School of Cambridge, the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science, Foxborough Regional Charter School and TechBoston Academy.

The group biked from the ferry stop to Edgartown and back, and enjoyed other activities along the way, including swimming, shopping, dining, sightseeing and a bridge jump. The annual trip is sponsored by Cruz Management and has been ongoing for approximately 20 years.

About Cruz Management:

Cruz Management is a full service real estate property management firm, which provides quality services to property owners in the Greater Boston area. The Cruz Management team has won a reputation for professionalism and partnership with residents, housing agencies and community groups. Cruz Management services more than 1,600 units in the cities of Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, as well as sites in Miami, Florida. These residential units are financed through a variety of affordable housing programs.

Cruz C.A.R.E.S. Summer Works Program Creates Jobs for Area Youth

Cruz C.A.R.E.S. Summer Works Program Creates Jobs for Area Youth

 

(From left, Summer Works participants Rashid Griffin, Josaun George, and Kaylin Berry-Woods; Cruz Companies leaders Christopher Sonnie, John B. Cruz, III, Dareline Jackson and Justin Cruz; youth painting instructor Qween Ragland; and youth participants Sun Brown and Sterling Pina; Photo Credit: Eric Haynes, courtesy of Cruz Companies.)

(From left, Summer Works participants Rashid Griffin, Josaun George, and Kaylin Berry-Woods; Cruz Companies leaders Christopher Sonnie, John B. Cruz, III, Dareline Jackson and Justin Cruz; youth painting instructor Qween Ragland; and youth participants Sun Brown and Sterling Pina; Photo Credit: Eric Haynes, courtesy of Cruz Companies.)

New England Real Estate Journal (NEREJ) August 19, 2016 – The Cruz C.A.R.E.S. Summer Works Program today celebrated its inaugural class of participants, highlighting youth painting homes at Harvard Commons; a new diverse community of 54 homes in Dorchester developed by Cruz Companies.

“Our motto is ‘Cruz Cares’ and our mission is giving back to the community through opportunities like our exciting new youth works program,” said John B. Cruz, III, president and CEO of Cruz Companies, the oldest and largest minority-owned construction and development firm in New England.

Cruz Companies recruited eight youth and one coordinator from the communities of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan to participate in the program. Youth workers are between the ages of 14-18 and receive compensation for their work.

“The Cruz C.A.R.E.S. summer program has been an astonishing experience,” said Kaylin Berry-Woods (pictured), a 16-year-old student attending TechBoston Academy. “I thank Cruz Companies for giving me my first job, with an opportunity with to be a part of the administration and maintenance workforce this summer.”

The six-week program runs from July 5 – August 19, 2016, and was launched in partnership with ABCD Summer Works.

“The Cruz C.A.R.E.S. program has been such an amazing learning experience for me,” said Donell Rankins, Jr. of Roxbury, a 15-year-old student at the John D O’Bryant School of Math and Science. “Being in the environment of not only an administrative setting, but also an artistic setting, has allowed me to develop the attributes of a successful businessman, painter, and leader within society.”

Participants will also volunteer for Cradles to Crayons and participate in a financial literacy and resume writing workshop during the course of the program.

“I feel really appreciative to Cruz for giving me the opportunity to give back to my community and teaching me lessons and qualities that I will need later on in life,” said Sun Brown (also pictured), a 15-year-old student from Mattapan attending Foxborough Regional Charter School.

About Cruz C.A.R.E.S.

Cruz C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Arts, Recreational and Educational Services) is Cruz Companies’ social responsibility arm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to help Boston’s urban community. Throughout the years, Cruz C.A.R.E.S. has hosted after-school programs, summer camps, college scholarships, resident field trips and a youth holiday celebration. In addition, Cruz believes that a real estate development should provide economic opportunities for the people in the community, including:

  • Increasing affordable housing opportunities
  • Providing good jobs to area residents
  • Hiring other minority businesses through subcontracts
  • Building sustainable communities through economic development