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Bloomberg Philanthropies Commits Additional $25 Million to Career and Technical Education Programs to Better Prepare U.S. High School Students for Workforce Amidst Upheavals Caused By COVID-19 Pandemic

New Grants in Nine Cities and Across Two States Will Bring Bloomberg Philanthropies’

Support of High-Quality Career Training Partnerships to $90 Million

New York, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies today 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.

“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,” said Mr. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “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.

The work-based apprentice-style programs receiving funding include:

  • Birmingham Promise in Birmingham, Ala., which is receiving nearly $2 million to catalyze the growth of a citywide internship and apprenticeship program.
  • CityWorks DC in Washington, D.C., is receiving $2.5 million for a new apprenticeship program, CareerWise DC, and to help engage more employers in youth career programs in the Nation’s Capital.

The school-based career training programs include:

  • Nearly $4 million to Baltimore’s Promise to grow the Grad2Careers program, which provides recent high school graduates with free job training that leads to industry credentials and good jobs.
  • $1.5 million to Propel America to scale career preparation and industry credentialing efforts in Providence, R.I., and Camden, N.J that will connect recent graduates to good jobs.
  • $4.5 million to Delaware as part of the state’s $15.8 million expansion of career pathways programs. This expansion paves the way for eight in 10 of the state’s public high school students to gain work-based learning experiences, industry credentials, and early college credits for in-demand careers before they graduate. It also starts career readiness earlier, beginning in middle school.

“This investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies is simply game changing for our community,” said Dr. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham. “I have prioritized investing in young people from the very beginning. It is the ultimate validation of those efforts to have our local investments matched by a national organization such as Bloomberg Philanthropies. We look forward to leveraging this investment to enhance, expand and deepen our efforts to support our city’s next generation of talent.”

“Grads2Careers is an opportunity to reimagine what post-secondary success can look like in Baltimore City,” said Dr. Sonja Santelises, Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools. “This initiative, and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ substantial investment in this important work, has built the foundation for a critical pathway between education and workforce systems that ensures that our City Schools graduates do not fall through the cracks in the transition from high school to the world of work.”

“Propel America is thrilled to receive this grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, whose support will allow us to build pathways for hundreds of recent high school graduates in Camden and Providence to move quickly into meaningful, upwardly-mobile jobs in healthcare while they earn college credits — a first-of-its-kind, ‘jobs-first’ higher education model,” said Paymon Rouhanifard, CEO, Propel America.

In addition to this $25 million in new support, Bloomberg Philanthropies is proud to partner with other philanthropic organizations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, to help secure additional private funding and important public funds to expand the reach and impact of these initiatives.

In the last five years, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ focus on workforce training has led to the creation of outstanding models for workforce education across the country, such as CareerWise Colorado, YouthForce NOLA, and Talent Ready (across the greater Washington region). Prior to today’s grants, more than 15,000 high school students have benefited from these programs.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: 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 pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter.

Media Contact
Rachel Nagler,