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Community Foundation Tampa Bay awards Ultimate Medical Academy Grant to Help Meet Need for EMTs

Grant funding provides learners support for essential needs such as childcare, housing, utilities, food and transportation.

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Tampa, Fla. — May 2, 2024 — Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) was awarded a significant grant from the Community Foundation Tampa Bay to support Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) apprentices. This grant aims to address critical financial barriers faced by apprentices, ensuring their successful graduation and entry into the workforce.

The grant, totaling $25,000, will provide essential financial resources to assist qualifying apprentices with support for necessities such as childcare, housing, utilities, food and transportation. These supports are vital to overcoming obstacles that often prevent low-income and underserved students from completing advanced career training programs.

The EMT Apprenticeship Program, a collaboration between UMA and The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (CCTB), targets the critical shortage of certified EMTs in the Tampa Bay area. By offering robust recruitment and comprehensive support services, including career counseling and professional development, the program aims to address workforce shortages while promoting diversity within healthcare professions. While completing the CCTB’s apprenticeship program, students are concurrently earning an EMT diploma from UMA.

Tampa Bay is in dire need of EMTs to serve a booming population. CareerSource Tampa Bay’s Regional Demand Occupations List includes EMT as a highly demanded profession, with an anticipated 10% growth from 2021 to 2026. Occupational demand suggests the number of vacancies will grow while the supply of EMTs will remain flat or decline. The number of EMTs eligible for hire within Tampa Bay declined by 11% between 2016 and 2021.

“For many people – especially adult learners – the path to an academic program that can unlock career growth is made enormously difficult by everyday obstacles like finding childcare or accessing time-efficient transportation to attend class,” said Bridget Hyde, vice president of research and development at UMA. “This grant from the Community Foundation Tampa Bay will help remove those hurdles for individuals in need who are eager to fill important healthcare jobs in our community.”

UMA will use the funds exclusively to support learners of the EMT Apprenticeship Program.

“We are proud to support UMA as they provide holistic high-quality job training leading to employment in career-advancing fields,” said Dr. Katie Shultz, Community Foundation Tampa Bay’s senior director of community investments. “These types of programs are essential to supporting the economic mobility of Tampa Bay residents. Understanding that there are many barriers that can impede an individual’s ability to complete a job training program, this grant will fund vital support services such as transportation, rent/utility, food and childcare for participants.”

For more information about the EMT Apprenticeship Program and UMA’s initiatives, please visit

About Ultimate Medical Academy

The need for skilled healthcare workers in the United States continues to grow. Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) is an accredited, nonprofit educational institution that helps to meet that need by equipping and empowering students to do vital work at the heart of healthcare. In addition to offering diploma and degree  programs, UMA works closely with healthcare companies to connect students directly to job opportunities.

Based in Tampa, Florida, and operating for 30 years, UMA offers hands-on learning at its main campus in Clearwater, Florida as well as content-rich, interactive programs through its online campus. The institution supports students through every step of their journey with access to academic support, interview and resume coaching, job search assistance, technical support and more.

UMA has more than 85,000 alumni and more than 14,000 students nationwide. The institution also provides certified continuing medical education (CME) through ongoing training and professional development opportunities to physicians, nurses and other medical professionals throughout the U.S. annually.

UMA is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES, The continuing medical education programs are individually accredited and are not included within the institution’s grant of accreditation from ABHES. Learn more by visiting

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