Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at Henry Ford Community College, March 14, 2019 | Ken Coleman
The bipartisan “Michigan Reconnect” program for job training has surpassed the state’s goal of 60,000 applicants by Memorial Day, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced Friday.
So far, more than 70,000 residents have signed up for the new $30 million program, which provides tuition-free paths to an associate degree or skills certificate.
“A talented and skilled workforce helps build a strong economy and puts Michigan on the map as a place for opportunity,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Businesses need skilled talent so they can thrive in our vibrant communities. I’m proud of the hardworking men and women who have taken the leap to continue their education and I look forward to ongoing bipartisan work with lawmakers to connect millions of Michiganders to the resources they need to succeed in a good-paying career.”
Michigan Reconnect pays for in-district tuition costs, mandatory fees and contact hours for eligible adults after other state and federal financial aid have been applied.
To be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, you must be at least 25 years old at the time of application, have lived in Michigan for a year or more, have a high school diploma or equivalent and have not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s).
Michigan also offers Futures for Frontliners, a scholarship program for pandemic frontline workers that has already seen 15,000 of its applicants enrolled in community college.
Awardees have until the end of 2021 to enroll in classes to take advantage of the free-tuition program.
“Talent is one of the single most important factors in business attraction and growth,” said Susan Corbin, acting director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). “Creating equitable access to education opens doors to develop the state’s most valuable resource — our workers.”
The state also encouraged Reconnect applicants to complete their free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and begin to enroll in a community college or adult education program.
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