Bloomberg Philanthropies announced an increased commitment to preparing young people for well-paying jobs and helping them recover from the financial and educational disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic with $25 million of additional support for career and technical education programs in nine U.S. cities and across two states.
The announcement comes at a critical moment in the nation’s pandemic economic recovery, when high school students need access to high-quality job training opportunities more than ever and businesses are eagerly looking to hire qualified talent in a range of middle skill jobs – jobs requiring more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree.
Two types of programs – apprentice-style programs based within businesses and workforce training programs housed at high schools and other training providers – in Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Camden, Charlotte, Denver, Louisville, Providence, Washington D.C. and across Delaware and Texas (Austin, Houston, San Antonio and in west central Texas) will collectively receive $25 million in grants.
This new investment brings Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support of career and technical education programs to $90 million since 2016.
The support underscores Michael R. Bloomberg’s beliefs that expanding career programs and pathways for students not heading directly to four-year college after high school is critical to gaining greater economic mobility and strong middle class career opportunities – and that states, cities, local businesses and employers, training providers, and schools must work in closer partnership to grow these training programs.
Mr. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, said: “High school students have had their educations turned upside down by the pandemic. To put them on a path to success, we need to ensure they have access to the opportunities they need to reach their full potential – and that includes creating new avenues for them to get there. Apprentice-style and school-based career programs allow students to get the skills and high-quality, on-the-job experience they need – and employers are looking for. These programs will help more young people begin successful careers and build a stronger future for our country.”
The new support includes $12.5 million for work-based apprentice-style programs that embed high school students in a workplace, programs adapted from the Swiss and German apprenticeship systems, and $12.5 million for school-based career training programs that offer students the opportunity to learn about careers and earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications.
Participants receive industry training and work experience for positions in health care, financial services, business operations, information technology, and advanced manufacturing, and step into jobs such as IT support technician, certified medical assistant, human resources associate, web developer, and machine maintenance technician.