NewsBloomberg Philanthropies Unveils $250 Million Healthy Schools Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies Unveils $250 Million Healthy Schools Initiative


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January 19, 2024 – A groundbreaking $250 million initiative, backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies and spearheaded by founder Michael Bloomberg, is set to revolutionize the education landscape by establishing healthcare-centric high schools. This strategic partnership between public schools and major health systems aims to graduate students directly into high-demand healthcare jobs, offering sustainable wages and addressing the growing workforce needs in the healthcare industry.

The initiative will target ten locations across the United States, focusing on urban centers in Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Durham, N.C., Houston, Nashville, Tenn., New York, and Philadelphia, as well as rural areas in Demopolis, Alabama, and six locations in Northeast Tennessee.

Each school, whether newly established through the initiative or as a revamped existing institution, will provide students with comprehensive academic programming, specialized healthcare classes, and hands-on work-based learning opportunities within partner health systems. Graduates will have the chance to earn industry-valued credentials and certifications, positioning them for immediate entry into the healthcare workforce or further advancement through post-secondary education.

Upon successful completion of graduation requirements, students will be offered job opportunities within the partner health system, showcasing a commitment from all health system partners to support the initiative’s objectives.

The schools will deliver traditional academic courses alongside specialized healthcare classes co-taught by health system employees using a co-designed curriculum. In rural Northeast Tennessee, a hybrid virtual and in-person program will be implemented across six school sites.

Students will engage in immersive work-based learning experiences, including job-shadowing and simulation labs in ninth and tenth grades. Starting in eleventh grade, students will have access to paid healthcare internships and professional mentoring, enhancing their practical skills and industry exposure.

Job opportunities for graduates span various healthcare roles, including surgical technologist, radiology technician, and respiratory therapist, with respective median starting salaries of $56,000, $65,000, and $71,000. Schools in Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, and Houston are scheduled to open in 2024, with the remainder launching through 2026.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investment will cover start-up costs, including personnel needs, classroom and lab renovations, and healthcare-specific work-based learning expenses, such as specialized curricula, lab materials, equipment, and stipends.

The initiative responds to the current demand for skilled healthcare professionals, with an estimated two million open healthcare industry jobs and an additional two million expected by 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ commitment aligns with its broader education program, which has invested $355 million in career and technical education initiatives across the country since 2016.

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