Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

HFC supports Futures for Frontliners

Futures for Frontliners logo

On Wednesday, April 29, Governor Whitmer announced a new initiative called Futures for Frontliners. The program would provide a tuition-free path to a college degree for workers on the front lines of service to our communities. The program is modeled on the GI Bill, which served thousands of servicemen in the years following World War II.

Eligible workers will include the people who have risked their health and lives to help us through the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Hospital and nursing home staff
  • Grocery store employees
  • Childcare providers serving critical infrastructure workers
  • Personal protective equipment manufacturers
  • Public safety employees
  • Garbage collection workers
  • Delivery drivers

The program is part of Governor Whitmer's 60 by 30 initiative, which will increase the number of Michigan citizens with a post-secondary credential to 60% by 2030 to meet the demand for skilled workers.

Governor Whitmer hopes the same bi-partisan effort that passed the MI-Reconnect initiative will pass the Futures for Frontliners initiative. Mi-Reconnect was not able to be funded, due to the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Whitmer, the intent is to fund the new initiative through the federal CARES Act and other programs designed to improve skills of workers.

The Detroit News’ Kim Kozlowski authored a story about the initiative quoting HFC President Russ Kavalhuna, who supports the initiative. "I'm enthused about it," he said. "This kind of program serves people who have been left behind and left out. There are many people who work full-time, care for families, don't have a lot of money, and don't have the liberty to go away to college. They still want access to the middle class. At Henry Ford College, we welcome many students who are leading full lives, and who need a better point of access to education."

"Our students are ready and willing to keep going," he added. "The pandemic won't stop them, and colleges like HFC will be here, today and in the future, to give them a path to success."

To people on the front lines who want a better life through the opportunities education can provide, President Kavalhuna has a welcoming message. "You have earned this kind of support from your government for your service to our community. If this plan comes to fruition, take advantage and enroll in a community college and better yourself. We at Henry Ford College are interested in changing lives."

As soon as more information becomes available, HFC will communicate how new students can take classes through the Futures for Frontliners program. There is also a path, today, to help you achieve your goals: contact us at hfcc.edu/apply to learn more.