For nearly a year, frontline workers have kept our nation’s economy and healthcare systems afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. To thank essential workers for their service and build a more resilient workforce, Michigan has pioneered a tuition-free college program called Futures for Frontliners. Launched in fall of 2020, the program met with a resounding response: At a time when community college attendance has declined 10% nationwide, over 120,000 frontline workers -- one-fifth of those eligible, applied to participate. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has cast the initiative as the GI Bill for essential workers, which will create “a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers.”

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