Futures for Frontliners to Provide Tuition-Free Education for Essential Workers
LANSING, MI - On Thursday, September 10th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a new program called Futures for Frontliners. This program is the first in the nation and will offer essential and frontline workers a tuition-free path to community college. An estimated 625,000 workers who provided essential services throughout the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders from April-June will be eligible for the program.
“This initiative is Michigan’s way of expressing gratitude to essential workers for protecting public health and keeping our state running,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Whether it was stocking shelves, delivering supplies, picking up trash, manufacturing PPE or providing medical care, you were there for us. Now this is your chance to pursue the degree or training you’ve been dreaming about to help you and your own family succeed.”
The funding is available for workers in the medical field, manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery, retail and more. Adults without a college degree already, as well as those without a high school diploma, are welcome to apply.
There are certain requirements an individual must meet in order to be eligible:
-Be a Michigan resident
-Have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 – June 30, 2020
-Have been required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time between April 1 – June 30, 2020
-Not have previously earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
-Not be in default on a Federal student loan
-Complete a Futures for Frontliners scholarship application by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31, 2020
Futures for Frontliners is a 24 million dollar investment funded by the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund, which is a part of the CARES Act. This move also supports Michigan’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030.
Frontline workers can visit michigan.gov/Frontliners to explore career opportunities, get started on their application, and view a list of community colleges.