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Michigan governor announces tuition-free educational program for essential workers

Essential workers in Michigan that are helping on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic may be given the opportunity to continue their educational...

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 3:38 AM

Essential workers in Michigan that are helping on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic may be given the opportunity to continue their educational pursuits for free, the state's governor said Wednesday.

The program, titled "Futures for Frontliners, will be available to essential workers without a college degree, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

The program will be offered not only to those working in hospitals or nursing homes, but also to grocery store employees, child care workers, sanitation workers and those who deliver 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," 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."

Whitmer described the program as "paths to opportunity" for Michigan's essential workers, and likened it to the GI Bill offered to returning soldiers after World War II.

"Historically when Americans put their lives on the line to defend the rest of us from a foreign enemy, we have shown our gratitude by giving them educational opportunities to improve their lives," Whitmer said during a press conference on Wednesday. "Our enemy in this instance, is a virus, but our frontline workers are just as heroic, and that's why it's important for us to extend some gratitude, and some opportunity, once we are beyond this moment."

The program will ensure "a tuition-free pathway to college" as well as an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or potentially a bachelor's degree at universities.

Whitmer said that she looks forward to working on enacting her proposal with the bipartisan legislative coalition that helped pass Reconnect, another educational program for adults, last month.

"I'm hopeful that other governors across the country will follow our lead to create pathways opportunity for the people who've been on the frontlines protecting our families," she said.

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.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
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