Hostos’ Health, Education and Research Occupations High School (H.E.R.O.) was highlighted in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City speech on Monday, February 10.

Held at LaGuardia Community College, and with Hostos President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in the audience, Mayor de Blasio lauded the work CUNY colleges were doing to build the economy through education and job training.

“I commend Mayor de Blasio for speaking about the importance of Hostos’ H.E.R.O. High School, as well as the need to invest more in workforce development programs and trainings,” President Matos Rodríguez said. “We also hope to assist the Mayor in his efforts to develop an entrepreneurship fund for low-income New Yorkers, as we believe Hostos is ideally suited to be part of this effort.  We believe these types of forward-thinking programs benefit not only individuals, but New York City as a whole, and we look forward to partnering with the new administration to advance its ‘One New York, Rising Together’ agenda through increased educational and social mobility.”

H.E.R.O. High is a new public 9-14 high school for students interested in health careers. It is a collaboration between Hostos Community College, Montefiore Medical Center, CUNY, and the Department of Education. Modeled after the P-Tech schools, H.E.R.O. High seeks to connect students at an early age with careers in high demand, like nursing and community health workers, and to provide a curriculum guided by employers’ needs and expectations.

During an integrated six-year program, H.E.R.O. High students have the opportunity to earn a Career and Technical Education (CTE)-endorsed Regents diploma, an associate’s degree in Nursing or Community Health from Hostos, and gain workplace experience in the healthcare field. The school is part of a national trend towards combining technical skills in growth industries and secondary/post-secondary education. The school opened in September 2013, with 126 9th graders.

Speaking to programs just like Hostos’ Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development, Mayor de Blasio also said his administration would work to connect higher education to the jobs that the 21st century workforce requires. “Today, new industries are driving an economic future with jobs we could not have envisioned just a few years ago. And CUNY is going to help us fill those jobs with New Yorkers who are educated and ready to work,” Mayor de Blasio said.

Also, with a student population that has a high rate of minority students, many being Latino, President Matos Rodríguez added that the college would also stand with the Mayor to protect the rights of almost a half-million undocumented New Yorkers who are forced to live their lives in the shadows. President Matos Rodríguez said Hostos will continue to educate all students who traditionally have been excluded from higher education, because it is through education and job training that New York City will continue to grow.

“H.E.R.O. High and our Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development are two examples of innovative education and job training that can encourage job growth and help grow the economy,” President Matos Rodríguez said.” Hearing Mayor de Blasio mentioning the work we do at Hostos helps validate our mission and is a special testament to our success.”

Watch the SOTC address here:

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique “Student Success Coaching Unit” provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.