40,000 sign up for tuition-free Michigan Reconnect community college program
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - More than 40,000 people have signed up for tuition-free community college education through the Michigan Reconnect program in its first two weeks.
The statewide program offers scholarships providing a free associate’s degree or career skills certificate through all of the state’s community colleges. Anyone age 25 and older living in Michigan for at least a year with a high school diploma and no college education qualifies.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Reconnect program during her first State of the State address as the centerpiece of her goal to ensure 60% of adults have a college degree or higher education skills credential by 2030.
Whitmer is calling for $120 million to fund the program during the next fiscal year.
“Michigan Reconnect isn’t just smart for our state’s economy,” said Susan Corbin, acting director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “It’s the right way to create pathways for Michigan workers – pathways to hope, pathways to equity and pathways to stronger families and communities.”
More than 1,700 people signed up for $1.5 million worth of skills training scholarships at private training schools in just 18 hours on Feb. 2, quickly closing enrollment for that part of the program. Anyone eligible for Michigan Reconnect can still sign up for many of the same programs at community colleges, however.
“The good news is that many community colleges offer skills certificates for high-demand careers in industries such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, health care or business management,” Corbin said. “Michiganders interested in a professional trades career can still take advantage of Michigan Reconnect by pursuing credentials through their community college.”
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