There at the Begining

New England Center for Arts & Technology


In 2013, the New England Center for Arts & Technology (NECAT) opened its doors in the city’s Newmarket district. There, in a beautifully renovated space, as many as 150 trainees a year undergo an intensive 16-week, full-day program to become certified culinarians, at no tuition cost to the student, and with an emphasis on the “soft skills” that are critical to getting and keeping a job. The graduates—many from Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan—have found ready employment in the city’s restaurants, hospitals, universities and corporations. The Boston Foundation was “There at the Beginning” when it made a grant of $75,000 to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether the idea for NECAT was a practical one. “The grant,” says founder Maarten Helmsley, “represented an endorsement of the program. The financial support was important, but it was also critical to show that this was a program that had legs.” Other funders followed, and the Boston Foundation has provided more than $500,000 in additional funding over the last five years.

The Boston Foundation has been “There at the Beginning” with critical early funding for more than 100 great ideas and new nonprofits.

View a list of the organizations for which the Boston Foundation was There at the Beginning.