By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Cooper University Health Care took the wraps off a new program that provides young people living in Camden the opportunity for a true career, free from debt, and a guaranteed job when they graduate.

Several organizations have collaborated to form the Cooper Health Careers Initiative. Thirteen students are studying to get their certificate in medical coding, and the hospital is giving them a major helping hand, said CEO Adrienne Kirby.

“This opportunity would normally have cost the students $12,000 each,” CEO Adrienne Kirby told KYW Newsradio, “but we have decided at Cooper that we’re going to cover the cost of that for the students.”

CEO Adrienne Kirby — Photo Credit: David Madden

That training is coming through Camden County College.

“We are really proud of the fact that we are going to bring a program that provides 39 college credits into a certificate for medical coding,” said college president Don Borden.

Once a student earns that certificate, they step into a coding job at Cooper in 15 to 18 months. The program is open to Camden residents who have or are about to complete high school and are prepared for college level study.

More information is available at