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$250 million new initiative from Bloomberg to create new high schools that will graduate students directly into high-demand healthcare jobs with family-sustaining wages
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$250 million new initiative from Bloomberg to create new high schools that will graduate students directly into high-demand healthcare jobs with family-sustaining wages

Mike Bloomberg whose philanthropies distributed over $3 billion in 2023  just announced a new, $250 million initiative to create new high schools around the nation that will graduate students directly into high-demand healthcare jobs with family-sustaining wages. This first-of-its kind initiative pairs public education systems and hospitals in 10 communities including the urban locations Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Durham, NC; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; and Philadelphia, PA; and the rural areas Demopolis, AL and Northeast TN (six locations). The schools will collectively serve nearly 6,000 students at full capacity.

Each school, whether newly established through this initiative or a revamp of an existing school, will offer students robust academic programming, specialized healthcare classes, work-based learning at the partner health system and the opportunity to earn industry-valued credentials and certifications.  Immediately upon graduation, students can enter healthcare jobs within the partner healthcare system or choose to advance their healthcare career through post-secondary education. As part of this initiative, all health system partners have committed to providing job opportunities for students who successfully complete the graduation requirements of their respective programs.

“For too long, our education system has failed to prepare students for good jobs in high-growth industries,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th mayor of New York City. “By combining classroom learning with hands-on experience, these specialized healthcare high schools will prepare students for careers with opportunities for growth and advancement. America needs more healthcare workers, and we need a stronger, larger middle-class — and this is a way to help accomplish both goals.”

Currently, there are an estimated two million open healthcare industry jobs and an additional two million expected by 2031 (Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022 and 2023). These healthcare jobs provide a clear path to economic mobility and are resilient to automation or outsourcing – and many do not require a four-year degree.

The inaugural partnerships between leading health and education systems around the country will be:

Boston, MA:

Healthcare Partner – Mass General Brigham

Education Partner – Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (Horace Mann charter schools, Boston Public Schools)

Charlotte, NC:

Healthcare Partner – Atrium Health

Education Partner – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Dallas, TX:

Healthcare Partner – Baylor Scott & White Health

Education Partner – Uplift Education

Durham, NC:

Healthcare Partner – Duke Health

Education Partner – Durham Public Schools

Houston, TX:

Healthcare Partner – Memorial Hermann Health System

Education Partner – Aldine Independent School District

Nashville, TN:

Healthcare Partners – HCA Healthcare TriStar, Vanderbilt Health, Ascension, National HealthCare Corporation

Education Partner – Nurses Middle College

Northeast TN:

Healthcare Partner – Ballad Health

Education Partner – Northeast TN Public Schools (six sites)

New York, NY:

Healthcare Partner – Northwell Health

Education Partner – New York City Public Schools

Philadelphia, PA:

Healthcare Partner – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Education Partner – Mastery Schools

Demopolis, AL:

Healthcare Partners – University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System and other state health systems and hospitals

Education Partner – State of Alabama*

*Contingent upon state funding

Each school will provide traditional academic programming, as well as specialized healthcare classes co-taught by health system employees using co-designed curriculum. Northeast Tennessee will use a hybrid virtual and in-person program across six school sites in rural communities. Students will also engage in immersive work-based learning at the partner healthcare system. In ninth and tenth grades, students will participate in job-shadowing and practice their skills in simulation labs; starting in eleventh grade, students will have access to paid healthcare internships and professional mentoring, among other work-based learning experiences. Schools in Boston, Charlotte, Dallas and Houston will open in 2024, while the rest will open through 2026.

All students will have the opportunity to earn industry-valued credentials, certifications and college credits while in high school, enabling students to graduate with the choice of going straight into work at the partner health system and/or continuing their education – full or part-time – to enhance their preparation for an attractive healthcare career. If they choose to go directly into work, hospital partners have committed to subsidizing the tuition for students’ ongoing part-time or full-time education. Examples of jobs that students will be prepared to enter upon graduation include surgical technologist ($56,000 median starting salary), radiology technician ($65,000 median starting salary), or respiratory therapist ($71,000 median starting salary). (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)

“As healthcare providers continue to face persistent labor challenges, it is crucial that we develop innovative partnerships to respond to the challenges of today and invest in the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. Moreover, our work to dismantle generational health inequities depends on our ability to recruit, retain and support a diverse, culturally competent and highly skilled workforce,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, president and CEO, Mass General Brigham in Boston. “We are deeply grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their transformational support that will allow us to dramatically increase the impact of our proven partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers and for our continued collaboration with Mayor Wu, the City of Boston and Boston Public Schools. We are excited about the tremendous impact this expansion will have on our current and future workforce and the surrounding community.”

“We are truly grateful for this wonderful opportunity. Bloomberg Philanthropies has challenged Memorial Hermann and Aldine ISD to think creatively, align our missions and visions and boldly move forward in service to our community,” said LaTonya Goffney, superintendent, Aldine Independent School District in Houston. “Support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and other community stakeholders will ensure this new high school becomes a reality and improves the futures of generations of students, families and our community. Together, we will make Aldine an even better place to learn.”

“We are very grateful for this opportunity to work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and our partners in the New York City Department of Education,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health in New York City. “What we plan to build together in Queens is bigger than just one school – it’s a visionary collaboration to improve public health and promote health equity in this city and beyond. This is a new model for education that will create a better future for thousands of students and make a lasting impact on the future of healthcare for countless more. As the largest healthcare provider in New York, Northwell remains committed to attracting and preparing more students for careers in healthcare that we need now and for our future.”

“Nothing is more important to the delivery of high-quality healthcare than the availability of well-educated, compassionate and trusted healthcare professionals,” said Alan Levine, chairman and CEO of Ballad Health in Northeast Tennessee. “The healthcare labor shortages in our nation are at crisis levels, threatening the safety net for Americans, particularly in rural communities.”

“Uplift Education believes every student in our network should have the opportunity for economic freedom on a pathway that is best suited for them. We are thrilled and humbled to work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Baylor Scott & White Health to grow the next generation of healthcare professionals in Dallas,” said Yasmin Bhatia, CEO of Uplift Education in Dallas.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investment will support school start-up costs including personnel needs and classroom and lab renovations. Additionally, this investment will support healthcare-specific work-based learning costs such as developing specialized curricula, lab materials and equipment and stipends for work-based learning. Successful programs launched from this initiative have potential to scale across the nation and serve as sustainable, long-term models for how to address gaps in education and workforce development.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ education program launched its career and technical education (CTE) work in 2016 to help create strong middle-class career opportunities by providing high school students with essential skills, job training and access to continued education. The focus has been on programs within high schools that provide training, credentials, certifications and work-based learning (apprenticeships and internships) to help young people obtain employment in high-growth industries. Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested $355 million in CTE initiatives around the country to date, including the new initiative announced today.

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on creating lasting change in five key areas: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consultancy that advises cities around the world.


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