The new Healthcare Career Hub of Central and South Brooklyn: Brooklyn College, Kingsborough Community College, and Medgar Evers College—Building the Workforce Ecosystem aims to expand healthcare workforce.

On July 28, President Michelle J. Anderson welcomed New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul to the Brooklyn College campus to announce the launch of the Healthcare Career Hub of Central and South Brooklyn: Brooklyn College, Kingsborough Community College, and Medgar Evers College—Building the Workforce Ecosystem.

Funded by a $9.3 million NY-CUNY 2020 Grant and part of a larger pool of state funding, the Healthcare Career Hub of Central and South Brooklyn provides more than $3.1 million for renovations in labs and other campus facilities related to Brooklyn College’s biology and healthcare programs. The joint effort between the three campuses aims to expand the healthcare workforce in Central and South Brooklyn; build an innovative healthcare high school-to-career pipeline; and match well-prepared career entrants with healthcare employment opportunities.

Specifically at Brooklyn College, labs that support programs in health and science and biological life sciences will be upgraded and upfitted with new equipment. The project will renovate up to 2,753 square feet of microbiology labs with new fume hoods, benches, lighting, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and furniture. All surface finishes will be refreshed, the lighting converted to energy-efficient LED, and spaces will also be fully ADA-compliant.

Other attendees at the event included CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Kingsborough Community College President Claudia V. Schrader, Medgar Evers President Patricia Ramsey, and New York State Senator Kevin Parker.

President Anderson helped host the event and said the partnership will be critical to addressing a shortage of local healthcare professionals who will also possess the cultural competency to serve their communities.

“Brooklyn College, Kingsborough Community College, and Medgar Evers College will work together to develop an integrated pipeline program from high school to graduation, from community college to senior colleges, and then to graduate schools to careers in health fields and the sciences,” Anderson said. “A virtual career hub will also be established to assist students and graduates from all three campuses.”

“Central Brooklyn is one of the most vulnerable areas in all of New York State when it comes to health and healthcare disparities,” said Anne Lopes, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “This grant-funded partnership will help train the next generation of home-grown healthcare workers right here in Brooklyn. Healthcare employs the largest workforce of any industry in Brooklyn, and we are excited about the future of this partnership.”

Lt. Governor Hochul, who serves as chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Council, described the healthcare hub as a “model of cooperation” that utilizes untapped talent to help underserved communities.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has completely upended the traditional workplace, and we are committed to helping New Yorkers get the skills and experience needed for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Hochul. “Our Workforce Development Initiative will continue to keep New Yorkers ahead of the job curve and create a more inclusive post-pandemic future where success is accessible to all.”

CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodríguez also lauded the partnership, adding this was another example of CUNY leading the way as New York rebounds from the pandemic to establish healthcare systems and good-paying jobs to Brooklyn-based students.