ROCKVILLE, Maryland — In one of its largest grants to date, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States has committed $1 million to help Venture Philanthropy Partners expand career-and college-readiness programs in Prince George’s County. The initiative — called Ready for Work: Champions for Career and College Ready Graduates of Prince George’s County — is designed to increase the number of students graduating from high school with the technical and academic skills they need for long-term employment.
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States understands that economic security is a top concern for many families across the region, including in Prince George’s County, and that concerns about employment and finances can have a tremendous impact on health. With this knowledge, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is partnering with Venture Philanthropy Partners to expand upon initiatives that have been proven to improve career and college readiness which in turn can improve economic opportunity.
By the year 2021, the Ready for Work initiative will help nearly 3,000 students in Prince George’s County gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce. Specifically, the program will focus on the following key initiatives:
- Increase ninth grade promotion rates
- Increase high school graduation rates
- Improve school performance of ninth grade repeaters
- Cultivate a college and “career-going” culture
- Develop healthy student behaviors
“Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is deeply committed to doing all we can to empower the residents of Prince George’s County to make health a priority,” said Kim Horn, president of Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. “We are proud to work with Venture Philanthropy Partners and with Prince George’s County Public Schools to help ensure students get the training and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing workforce. This most recent investment in college and career readiness is just one part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to the total health of our communities.”
Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to Prince George’s County, with nearly 130,000 members directly served by four Medical Centers, including Largo — the largest in the region. In 2015 alone, Kaiser Permanente awarded more than $675,000 in grants, sponsorships and donations across the County. In addition, staff from across the region volunteered over 5,000 hours in Prince George’s County. This grant reflects a commitment to the youth and future of the County.
To start, the Ready for Work initiative will target three Transforming Neighborhood Initiative schools in Prince George’s County: Oxon Hill High School, High Point High School, and Suitland High School. Ready for Work is expected to become a model for other schools in the County and across the Region.
“To address the challenges of tomorrow, we have to focus on the youth of today. We have a bold new concept to help Prince George’s County youth become career and college ready,” said Carol Thompson Cole, president and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners. “With Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States’ help, we can harness the collaborative power of philanthropy, Prince George’s County schools, nonprofits, government and employers to help young people gain the skills they need to achieve their dreams.”
This new partnership is part of a larger effort from both organizations to build the local and regional economy.
About Venture Philanthropy Partners
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) makes the future brighter for youth living in Greater Washington by tackling the largest barriers to their success and forging partnerships that bring the expertise, passion and reach necessary to achieve life-changing results. Over the past 16 years, VPP has raised over $100 million to help children and youth of low-income families in Greater Washington access quality education, health care and career training — setting them on the right path to learn, graduate, and become successful, healthy adults. This funding, coupled with our management expertise and support in strengthening staff leadership has increased the capacity of local nonprofits to help them expand to 80 new sites and serve 50,000 young people each year.
About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for more than 670,000 members through 29 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprising Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features more than 1,300 physicians. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is the only Private plan available through employer-sponsored health coverage in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia — and one of only 13 Private health plans available nationwide — to earn a five out of five rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2016–2017. In addition, Kaiser Permanente has the No. 1 Medicare plan in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit kp.org or follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/KPMidAtlantic, or Facebook, www.facebook.com/kpthrive.