Governor’s Futures for Frontliners Will Help Chamber in Reaching 60% Postsecondary Attainment by 2030

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today launched the nation’s first program offering tuition-free college to an estimated 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential, frontline services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders from April to June of 2020. Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah issued the following statement on the program’s launch:

The Detroit Regional Chamber continues to work toward its goal of 60% postsecondary degree attainment by 2030 and looks forward to the Futures for Frontliners program’s contribution to these efforts. A strong talent pipeline is essential to a strong economy. Empowering individuals, especially the frontline workers getting our state through the COVID-19 crisis, to continue or restart their educations is well-deserved recognition for their service and a step toward improved educational opportunity across the state.

Futures for Frontliners offers Michigan adults without college degrees or high school diplomas who provided essential services during the pandemic a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers. This program is inspired by the GI Bill, which provided college degrees to those who served WWII. Funding is available to those in the medical field as well as essential workers in manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery, retail, and more. The program is a $24 million investment funded by the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund – part of the CARES Act.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a Michigan resident.
  • Have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 to June 30, 2020.
  • Have been required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time between April 1 to June 30, 2020.
  • Not have previously earned an associate or bachelor’s degree.
  • Not be in default on a Federal student loan.

Applications for a Futures for Frontliners scholarship are due Dec. 31, 2020, by 11:59 p.m.

Learn more about Futures for Frontliners.

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