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Whitmer announces tuition-free college for 22,000 more Michigan workers

Futures for Frontliners program would expand to include people employed from November through January
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 12:45 PM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WJRT) - An additional 22,000 frontline Michigan workers are eligible for tuition-free college education under an expansion of the popular Futures for Frontliners program.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that all workers in frontline jobs like grocery stores and sanitation from Nov. 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021 can take advantage of the fully paid college scholarship program.

“Today we are taking the last big step to get back to normal, but we will never forget the frontline workers along the way who helped us get here,” Whitmer said during an event at Belle Isle in Detroit. “That’s why I’m calling on the legislature to join me in expanding the Futures for Frontliners scholarship program to cover the selfless Michiganders who stepped up in unprecedented ways to keep our state moving.”

More than 120,000 workers applied for the Futures for Frontliners program when it was announced last fall and 16,000 are enrolled at their local community colleges. The state plans to use $100 million from Michigan’s share of American Rescue Plan funding to pay for the program.

“As we put Michigan back to work, this will help people get into good-paying, high-demand careers, which will boost our economic jumpstart even further,” Whitmer said.

She has set a goal of educating 60% of Michigan’s workforce with an associate’s degree or career training by 2030.

“We know that a strong state and a strong economy requires an educated and skilled workforce, and by expanding and investing in programs like Futures for Frontliners, we can help more Michiganders prepare for rewarding careers that provide stability to them and their families,” said Kerry Ebersole, who is director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Sixty by 30.

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