Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Promise Gets $1.8M Grant From Bloomberg Philanthropies

Mayor Randall Woodfin’s Birmingham Promise educational initiative has received a $1.8 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, it was announced Tuesday.

That grant will go toward the program’s apprenticeship initiative, which Woodfin said “will be used to help Birmingham City Schools high school students to start gaining work experience to gain career skills that will last them a lifetime.”

Woodfin also told the City Council during Tuesday’s meeting that Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “very vigorous vetting process … shows that this program is sustainable, and it’s a model for any city across America for how we should engage in partnerships to invest and give opportunity and exposure to our youngest generation and our high school students.”

The Birmingham Promise program was first approved in 2019 as part of the city’s FY 2020 budget, in which it received $2 million previously allocated to Birmingham City Schools along with $3 million in private contributions.

Since then, the program — which offers juniors and seniors in city schools paid internships, dual enrollment opportunities and scholarships to public colleges — has logged large contributions from private donors, including $8 million earlier this year from local corporations including Vulcan Value Partners, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Protective Life and Alabama Power.