Suffolk announced the launch of a new student loan repayment program as a benefit for employees. Suffolk partnered with Gradifi, a student loan repayment company, to launch its pilot program in 2019. Beginning January 1, 2019, Suffolk will contribute $100 per month toward qualified student loans for eligible employees. According to data from the Institute for College Access & Success, the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree left school with $28,446 in student debt in 2016. Suffolk implemented the loan repayment program to help its employees reduce their financial stress, meet personal and professional goals, and focus on long-term career growth in the future rather than paying down debt from the past.
“I’m a big believer in education – it means everything to me,” said John Fish, President and CEO of Suffolk. “But the truth is, more and more people are finding education to be a financial burden rather than a ticket to a successful life. My hope is that people see this student loan repayment benefit as an opportunity to focus less on the cost of education and more on the exciting future that education, and our industry, can offer.”
Suffolk employees can enroll for these benefits at any time and will qualify for the loan repayment program if they are currently paying a federal or private loan from a US-based lender taken out exclusively for funding higher education expenses from an accredited institution.
In other efforts to address the skilled labor shortage in the industry and recruit new talent, Suffolk offers the Career Start program to recent graduates joining their team, who rotate through the organization’s main operation areas and gain a comprehensive understanding of the various roles in construction. Suffolk offers employees reverse-mentoring relationships on project sites that encourage senior superintendents to collaborate closely with younger, tech-savvy employees which has attracted a wave of new recruits out of college. Suffolk has also demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices which has greatly increased the talent pool for the organization, and the company recently announced a partnership with Northeastern University to research the role data can play in the construction industry while increasing the talent pipeline for data professionals.