and have announced grants totaling $7.5 million over five years in support of efforts by to expand access to economic opportunity for young people in New Orleans.
A coalition of community and education leaders working to help the city's public high schools redesign their career and technical education programming, YouthForce NOLA offers coursework, credentials, and work-based learning experiences designed to put students on a path to well-paying jobs in high-demand fields. To that end, Bloomberg has pledged $5 million to the effort, while Chase has pledged $2.5 million to enable the organization to help sixteen hundred students earn credentials that qualify them for career pathways and place twelve hundred in paid internships in fields such as advanced manufacturing; energy, trade, and logistics; bioscience and health care; and digital media, software development, and information technology.
With nearly 20 percent of young people in greater New Orleans neither working nor in school, the region is home to the third largest population of disconnected youth in the United States, while nearly 40 percent of children in the area live in poverty. It is estimated that, by 2011, sixty-seven thousand workers with at least some post-high school training will be needed in the skilled crafts, health sciences, and technology fields.
"These investments are a critical element in preparing and training the people of New Orleans for career pathways," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "We look forward to continued partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg to ensure that our young people and adults benefit from the city's remarkable economic growth."