Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants essential workers to enroll in a postsecondary education program for free. Essential workers could attend school for free
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants essential workers to enroll in a postsecondary education program for free.

Go to school for free under gov. Whitmer’s postsecondary education program.

LANSING, MICHIGAN — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is rolling out the red carpet for essential workers— and their education needs. 

Whitmer announced that Michigan’s essential workers are deserving of something significant from the government after working during the coronavirus. So the new program, “Futures for Frontliners,” is here to allow the frontline workers who do not have college degrees to complete theirs for free.

During the pandemic essential workers (everyone from teachers to grocery store clerks and beyond) have worked tirelessly and deserve a free college education, she said.

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While enrollment in the state program opens this month (and the scholarship will be available starting next spring) eligible frontliners can prepare now for when the time comes. 

Whitmer called the program as “paths to opportunity” for Michigan’s essential workers, and compared it to the GI Bill that soldiers returning from World War II could take advantage of.

SEE ALSO: These Michigan Colleges Aren’t Seeing Enrollment Drops Over Coronavirus. Here’s Why.   

“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,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement. “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.”

Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity said the program will be vital to ensuring the future economic success of the state. 

“It’s going to be something we have to engage in because, making sure that they are successful over the long term for individuals who struggle, already to make family sustaining wages, will be critical to the future of our state,” Donofrio said. “By investing in them again we ensure our state’s future economic success.”

The governor hopes the new program will also help the state reach its goal of increasing the number of working-age adults with a technical certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030, according to the news release.

SEE ALSO: Coming of Age in a Pandemic