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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.

Confirmed Cases: 9294

Reported Deaths: 209
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah230169
Marion156447
Washington144620
Clackamas77324
Umatilla6204
Union3471
Lincoln3272
Deschutes1920
Lane1803
Linn1549
Polk14912
Malheur1401
Jackson1310
Yamhill1318
Jefferson1260
Klamath1231
Hood River880
Benton835
Wasco751
Morrow721
Clatsop490
Douglas440
Coos410
Josephine411
Columbia310
Lake190
Tillamook120
Crook110
Wallowa100
Curry70
Baker40
Grant10
Harney10
Sherman10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

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Confirmed Cases: 246550

Reported Deaths: 6265
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1077923457
Riverside18720465
San Diego15207377
Orange15065354
San Bernardino13152265
Imperial6824100
Alameda6384138
Fresno562677
Kern493977
Santa Clara4750159
Tulare4521133
San Joaquin429855
San Francisco371950
Sacramento355969
San Mateo3376108
Contra Costa332678
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Kings258332
Marin244619
Stanislaus239144
Monterey174815
Solano147625
Sonoma12299
Merced120811
Placer75411
San Luis Obispo6752
Yolo58324
Madera5665
Santa Cruz4103
Napa3444
San Benito2572
Lassen2340
Butte2063
El Dorado2060
Sutter2063
Humboldt1384
Shasta1354
Nevada1231
Glenn1220
Yuba1031
Tehama881
Lake850
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Calaveras530
Del Norte511
Tuolumne430
Mono411
Inyo321
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Amador260
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
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