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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health care occupations is projected to grow 15% through 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations1. Health care services continue to be in great demand, particularly among our aging population. Additionally, working in the health care industry can offer a successful career track to many and can provide an avenue to supporting greater economic stability and the accumulation of wealth – two reasons why generations of Americans, particularly those within communities of color, have difficultly escaping poverty.
A report by the U.S. Treasury Department and Department of Education stated that most jobs that provide a living wage, employment security, and opportunities for career advancement require some level of post-secondary education2. To help make a positive impact on future generations and the broader public health ecosystem, we’re looking to introduce high school students to health care occupations, support them through successful graduation, and help them continue to further their education in preparation for health care jobs.
The Cigna Foundation seeks to fund programs that are:
- Pipeline programs that introduce and support youth to pursue healthcare careers through:
- Career counseling
- Job shadowing
- Increasing educational outcomes in language, literacy, and STEM subjects
- Supporting students toward high school graduation
- Comprehensive college preparation programs that focus on:
- Self-management skills to increase resiliency
- Language, literacy, and STEM proficiencies
- Knowledge about post-secondary education and requirements to successfully apply
- Degrees to pursue health-related professions
- Post education through a secondary school (i.e., vocational schools, technical and career training schools, community colleges, and universities) with a specific health care curriculum
1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh, accessed May 2021
2 The Economics of Higher Education, 2012, https://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/documents/20121212_economics%20of%20higher%20ed_vfinal.pdf