Michigan's governor announced a new program that would provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who do not already have a college degree if enacted.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday an initiative to help Michigan workers and their families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Futures for Frontliners” is a program that would provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who do not have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies.

The Futures for Frontliners program is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis. This program will ensure tuition-free college opportunities and give these dedicated Michiganders an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree. I want to assure all of our workers we will never forget those of you who stepped up and sacrificed their own health during this crisis. You’re the reason we’re going to get through this. ~Governor Whitmer

The “Futures for Frontliners” program is the first of its kind in the country and was inspired by the federal government’s support of soldiers returning from World War II by providing educational opportunities. Frontline workers who take advantage of this program will help the state reach Governor Whitmer’s goal of increasing the number of working-age adults with a technical certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030.

The Governor stated that she looks forward to working on enacting her proposal with the bipartisan legislative coalition that helped pass Reconnect last month, the program to offer adults over 25 without college degrees tuition-free access to community college.

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