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Hillsborough County Schools To Open Three New Workforce High Schools

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Hillsborough County Schools announced its developing three new schools specifically dedicated to preparing students for the medical and construction work fields.

Superintendent Addison Davis says the new schools will help fill shortages in Tampa Bay's workforce.

One senior in Hillsborough County Schools, Jamal Simpkins, says "If we didn't have them then we would be suffocating under the impression that we can't hire anyone and the job won't get done,"

Simpkins is talking about workers in the medical and construction fields.

"The medical field is low because of COVID-19 and when it comes to construction, we have a lot of open fields, that we need persistence and help," said Simpkins.

When Simpkins graduates he wants to work with HVAC, plumbing, tiling and more. He already has this experience from the Bowers Whitley Career Center…but soon that will be transformed into the Hillsborough Construction Academy.

"I am pleased to announce that Hillsborough County Public Schools will create two new high schools and a technical college specifically designated to workforce development," said Davis.

The new construction academy for high schoolers will be able to teach more students skills to help them land a job.

"Building instruction, HVAC, refrigeration, heating technology," said Davis.

The second new high school will be Hillsborough Medical Academy built at W.D. Waters. Superintendent Davis says the district is teaming up with Tampa General Hospital, BayCare and other medical centers to build a curriculum and get specific equipment used in hospitals.

"From nursing to nursing technicians, to nursing assistance, to EKG technicians, home assistant aids," said Davis.

The third school will be the Medical Technical College for high schoolers and graduates. Davis says the district decided to create these three new schools because data shows that these areas of work are needed most in the Tampa Bay Area.

Kimberly Guy with BayCare Health System says following the pandemic, the need for more staff in hospitals is critical.

"Not only nursing positions…there are tech positions, there are other positions, even trades that we really need and would be a great asset," said Guy.

The new schools are scheduled to open in 2023 and 2024.

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