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Mayor Bowser and Bloomberg Philanthropies Announce $9.5 Million Investment to Expand the Advanced Technical Center and Prepare More DC Students for Health Care Careers

Friday, June 7, 2024

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a $9.5 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies that will support the District’s Advanced Technical Center (ATC) and help build more pathways to health care professions for high school students in Washington, DC. This investment, which builds on millions of dollars from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan and US Department of Education grants, will support the expansion of the ATC in Ward 5, the establishment of a new ATC in Ward 8 at the St. Elizabeths East campus, and the creation of an innovative post-high school bridge program led by the DC Hospital Association. Funding to match this investment is included in the Mayor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Mayor Bowser was joined by Director Lael Brainard, President Biden’s National Economic Advisor, as well as representatives from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
“As we continue the work of reimagining high school and ensuring every student graduates prepared for their next step, we know that we have a model of excellence with our Advanced Technical Center,” said Mayor Bowser. “Mayor Bloomberg has long been a champion of education, and we are thrilled to have this additional support from Bloomberg Philanthropies to expand the ATC and put more students on pathways to high-wage, high-demand jobs.”
The Advanced Technical Center, administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and a central piece of the Bowser Administration’s efforts to reimagine the high school experience for DC students, provides career-focused high school students with an opportunity to acquire professional skills, earn industry credentials, and gain college credits in high-demand, high-wage careers such as cybersecurity and general nursing, that set them on a pathway to the middle class.
“Mayor Bowser has long been at the forefront of education reform efforts, and Bloomberg Philanthropies is glad to help her bring this specialized healthcare program to DC students,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th mayor of New York City. “By pairing classroom learning with hands-on experience, the District will be able to fill hundreds of vacant healthcare jobs and more students will have an opportunity to start promising careers, strengthening the American middle class.”

Health care is one of the largest industries in DC, with rising demand for talent outpacing the current pipeline of training programs offered. Data from the District’s Department of Employment Services shows the District will need an additional 570 nurses by 2030, in addition to the health care professionals needed to replace those retiring. Moreover, by 2030, the District will need an additional 700 individuals to fill new positions in licensed practical nursing, medical assistants, and nursing assistants. The Bloomberg Philanthropies investment will strengthen training pathways for DC students to meet the needs of employer partners and help DC students enter family-sustaining careers.
“The District’s health care sector is incredibly excited about this investment in our students and health career pathways from Bloomberg Philanthropies,” said Jacqueline D. Bowens, President & CEO of the District of Columbia Hospital Association. “The need for a stronger health care workforce is more critical now than any previous moment in time and this funding will provide more residents with the opportunity to launch their career journey in health care.”
This initiative is supported by employers, K-12 education organizations, higher education and nonprofit partners, and labor unions, including the AFT and the Washington Teachers’ Union, which are eager to expand high-quality career and technical education (CTE) opportunities and career pathways for students.
“Preparing kids for career, college, civic participation, and life is the work of all of us,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “This grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies comes at exactly the right time for the right opportunity. We need to create the next generation of nurses, surgical techs, radiology techs, respiratory techs and so many more as we work to fill 4 million open national healthcare positions by 2031. This partnership helps seed and sustain our communities by creating a permanent pipeline of good jobs with good benefits starting in high school. That’s what school is about—helping students thrive and pursue their dreams, including living, working and raising a family. Educators and their unions, the school district and employers are working arm in arm, and we could not be prouder of this partnership.”
The Advanced Technical Center launched as a pilot on the Trinity Washington University campus in August 2022, and then opened this school year in a new permanent home, centrally located at the Penn Center. The program has seen growing interest and demand, with enrollment surging from 96 students from eight different schools in the 2022-23 school year to 191 students from 15 different schools in the 2023-24 school year. The first cohort recently completed the program and earned an impressive 1,169 college credits, valued at over $882,134 in college tuition. In January, Mayor Bowser announced that OSSE received a $4.1 million Career Connected High School Grant from the Biden-Harris Administration to expand access to the ATC.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ education program launched its 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. Recently, it announced a $250 million initiative to create new high schools around the nation that will graduate students directly into high-demand health care 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. 


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