Education, labor, business, and workforce leaders join to urge Michigan’s 625,000 COVID-19 essential workers to apply now for tuition-free college
LANSING – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, along with leaders in education, business, labor and workforce development, today launched the nation’s first program offering tuition-free college to an estimated 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential, frontline services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders between April – June 2020.
Futures for Frontliners, inspired by the GI Bill which provided college degree to those serving their country in WWII, offers Michigan adults without college degrees or high school diplomas who provided essential services during the pandemic a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers. The funding is not only available to those in the medical field, but also essential workers in manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery, retail and more.
“This initiative is Michigan’s way of expressing gratitude to essential workers for protecting public health and keeping our state running,” Whitmer said. “Whether it was stocking shelves, delivering supplies, picking up trash, manufacturing PPE or providing medical care, you were there for us. Now this is your chance to pursue the degree or training you’ve been dreaming about to help you and your own family succeed.”
To be eligible for the program, applicants must:
· Be a Michigan resident
· Have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 – June 30, 2020
· Have been required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time between April 1 – June 30, 2020
· Not have previously earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
· Not be in default on a Federal student loan
· Complete a Futures for Frontliners scholarship application by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31, 2020
Frontline workers are encouraged to visit www.michigan.gov/Frontlinersto explore career opportunities, a list of local community colleges and get started on their application – even if they don’t already have a high school diploma.
The program is a $24M investment funded by Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund – part of the CARES Act, and supports the state’s Sixty by 30 goal announced at the Governor’s first state of the state address to increase the number of working-age Michiganders completing an a industry certificate, college degree or apprenticeship. A more educated workforce is essential to help businesses grow, make Michigan a more competitive state to attract jobs of the future and help families navigate a changing economy and increase income.
“The vast majority of good paying jobs continue to require at least some education beyond high school,” said Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “Futures for Frontliners gives those who helped save lives and kept our communities operating during the height of COVID an opportunity to increase their skills and income and helps us close the state’s skills gap. For Michigan’s economy to recover and grow, its critical we continue to provide expanded opportunities to all.”
Advocates for additional career training say Futures for Frontliners also helps them off-set training costs and provide another avenue for retention and long-term career growth.
“Michigan manufacturers have been on the front lines in defense against the COVID-19 threat, creating essential products necessary for daily life; from food and pharmaceuticals, to transportation and even toilet paper,” said John Walsh, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “The Futures for Frontliners program will recognize these truly-deserving heroes, investing in their personal future as well as the economic future of our state.”
“As an employer of nearly 20,000 frontline associates here in Michigan and beyond, we are proud and thankful for each of our employees who stepped up to feed our customers and our communities during the pandemic,” Rachel Hurst Corporate Affairs Manager for the Kroger Co. of Michigan said. “We’re excited for them to have this hard-earned opportunity to continue their education with support from the Futures for Frontliners program which pairs well with our Feed Your Future program.”
"With short staffing a challenge for our workers across many medical professions, this program helps create a pipeline of talent for our growing healthcare workforce. Whether you are a hospital or nursing home worker, you can take advantage of this opportunity in nearly every workplace. I’m so excited for our union workers who now have the opportunity to add new skills that will help them advance in their careers."
“Henry Ford College, and I personally, are proud to support the Futures for Frontliners program, and to partner with the State of Michigan and other public and private partners to help frontline workers create a better future,” Russ Kavalhuna, Henry Ford College President. “We believe this program represents a unique, first-of-its-kind opportunity for people who have earned a College education. They put themselves at risk to serve Michigan residents during a pandemic. We will put their futures at the forefront now.”
Several other business organizations, corporations, unions and legislators have volunteered to serve as Frontliners Champions with a commitment to inform their frontline workers, members and constituents about this tuition-free college opportunity.
LANSING, MICH. – Patients, staff and visitors will be better protected from COVID-19 under an emergency order from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon that requires testing of employees of the five state-run psychiatric hospitals and centers.
Gordon signed the order today and it has immediate effect.
“MDHHS believes that COVID-19 testing is one of the best tools we have in limiting its spread,” Gordon said. “Testing – along with wearing masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing – is especially important in settings such as our state psychiatric hospitals where people are often in close contact with each other.”
Testing is required for staff at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline, Hawthorn Center in Northville, Caro Center, Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital in Westland and Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. Subject to availability of testing supplies, the hospitals must:
The emergency order also requires the hospitals and centers to take all necessary precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 – which may include requiring any staff suspected of exposure to COVID-19 to be tested outside the facility – and exclude from work staff with COVID-19 until they have met return-to-work criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This order provides the same testing requirement as the order signed for prisons and veterans’ homes. Unions representing employees of state hospitals and centers have been offered a letter of understanding that mirrors letters offered to correction officers and health care workers at those facilities. The letter of understanding would provide 80 hours of additional sick leave that can be used after other leave credits have been exhausted due to a positive test or close contact quarantine.
Further details can be found in the emergency order.
Mert’s is proud to be able to deliver our quality products direct to your door.
Consider home delivery service for your Holiday Products this year.
Our delivery service charge is a flat rate – no extras for mileage or weight or number of bags – no minimum purchase amount – no maximum purchase amount – you just want four links of sausage? – you ordered a 45 pound meat bundle? That’s okay with us! Delivery charges cannot be discounted. Call the store at 517-574-5014 to inquire about the particular address to which you want a delivery.
Nestled in the corner across from Lake Lansing in Haslett sits a summertime oasis with a very special treat. The family owned Cheezy D’s is the place to be if you want to bring out your inner ice cream pirate and take on the Cannonball! The cannonball is a gigantic ¾ of a lb ice cream sundae that is best to be shared with a loved one. They scoop out a mound of Mooville ice cream, roll it around in your choice of toppings such as snickers, heath, cookie dough, m&ms, brownies and then cap it off with hot caramel and hot fudge. Load it up with whip cream and a cherry on top and you have the perfect summer date night treat.
“It’s something different that brings people in. It’s bigger than a softball and they get to choose three candies that we roll it around in. It’s a shareable item – but I have seen people eat the whole thing!” co-owner Michelle Emmer told us on a recent visit.
Besides ice cream Cheezy D’s balances the traditional walk up ice cream stand favorites like sundaes, mix ins, soft serve, hardpack, shakes and floats with out there gourmet specialties like their hot dog creations which can include waffle dogs, kimchi dog, the Santa Fe, and the blue cheese and bacon dogs! Cheezy D’s opened up this summer and is celebrating their Grand Opening this weekend August 21st thru the 23rd. Enjoy specials and entertainment designed for families young and old alike. Stop into Cheezy D’s at the corner of Marsh and Lake Lansing Rds in Haslett, and be sure to follow them on facebook @cheezyds.
One of the eight limbs of Yoga focus on withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that one makes the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world. I think everyone can agree after these last few months it is time to move on to a new chapter! Out of the silence and solitude it’s time to begin again with a new vision, for a new age! MI Yoga Connect would like to welcome you on that journey.
Closed since the middle of April, owner Samantha Corbit decided it was the perfect time to create a fresh vision in a familiar place and MI Yoga Connect was born! Still at the same location sitting atop the hill on Haslett Rd (just east of the railroad tracks), MI Yoga Connect continues with the same ownership and leadership that Haslett has grown to love and support. Operating classes with its sister location in Lansing, MI Yoga Connect has something for everyone. They are even operating now, with classes inside, outside, online and for all ages. Is there a better way to de-stress than being outside in the crisp autumn air, surrounded by people who know and care about your total well-being?
At MI Yoga Connect you can join in on sessions including:
-Core & More
Other Classes are being added as functionality is allowed. Introductory offer is 2 weeks unlimited for $20, as well as other pricing options available. You can continue to use any MI Hot Yoga packages that you may have if they were purchased prior to April 20. Get out, and get moving with the people you know and trust. Join in at MI Yoga Connect today!
With all the stress that is dominating our lives we found that we needed a place to relax, feel the breeze on our face and the warmth of the sun. All in an environment where we could be in our own space. We decided to hit the open roads around Mid-Michigan and find some of the best short drives that were out there.
Van Atta Rd Between Haslett Rd & Jolly Rd (4.3 mi) Highlighted by the prairie of the Foster-Davis Natural Area, the dense forest of Ted Black Woods, horse farms and the narrow crossing of the Red Cedar river by the Harris Nature Center. This is a great drive for the limited mobility nature lover. There are places to park and walk, and Harris Nature Center is an absolutely perfect stop for grandparents with toddlers to young elementary age children. Easy access parking, river front viewing, trails, and live small animal displays with indoor facilities. We can’t recommend any place higher than we do Harris Nature Center.
M52 Stockbridge to Chelsea (13.5 mi) Start in Stockbridge and drive around the beautiful and historic Stockbridge town, window shop at the Hometown Pharmacy. Then head south of town to open roads and cross Green Lake and the tip of the Waterloo Recreation Area. Once into Chelsea marvel at the clock tower and the Chelsea Milling Company, home of Jiffy Mix! If you’re a sandwich lover who likes gimmicky and LARGE sandwiches find Mike’s Deli!
M21 St. Johns to Fowler (9.5mi) Cut across Michigan’s Mint Country! Sights include the First Congregational Church of St. Johns (est. 1860). If you are a train lover and in town on an afternoon from 1-3 you owe it yourself to find the Clinton Northern Railway Museum. For the drive take M21 straight across field and farm over to Fowler. Once in Fowler park and shop at unique places like Beckers Bridal and Beckers Furniture.
Sleepy Hollow State Park Lake (12.3 mi) Start at Price rd and you’ll reach the southern tip of Lake Ovid. Turn into the state park ($) and take a slow drive to the beach parking lot. Depending on the season you’ll want to watch for deer, pheasant, turkeys and eagles. Turn back around and north to Taft road. Admire both farm and forest along Sleepy Hallows edges.
Moore's River Dr. in Lansing (3mi) Start at Moores Park and stare out at the Grand River in Lansing in the shadows of the three towers of the Otto C. Eckert power plant. Leave the park and turn west across M99 and keep along the riverfront and some of Lansing’s historical architectural residential mansions. Finish up along the Lansing Country Club and Frances Moore Shoreline.
Williamston to Brighton along Grand River (30 mi), This is Mid-Michigan’s Route 66. Grab an award winning M43 at Old Nation Brewery, then pass the neon marquee of the Sun Theater in Williamston. You’ll see one of the most unique bar names ever in The Bloated Goat in Fowlerville, dine at any of Howell’s highly recommended eateries such as Tomato Bros, Aberrant Ales or Diamonds Steak and Ales. Then wrap up in Brighton’s lake country and its historic downtown that feels like any of your up north shoreline favorites.
Dansville to Pickney Rec Area (30 mi) You might as well just call this what it is, the “Go to Hell” tour. As cheeky as it sounds every 13 year old dreams of the day they are brave enough to tell their parents they can go to Hell….Michigan. Start in Dansville and take the hilly M36 to Stockbridge where you should grab a bite from Medina’s. Then follow the 106/Doyle/Patterson Lake to the fantastic Hell, MI. They embrace their name with kitschy photo ops and the foreboding Hell Saloon (which actually has amazing cheeseburgers!) Leave it all behind and then head to the natural Pickney Rec area. Cruise around the narrow roads crossing the Pickney/Waterloo trail heads. Find pull offs along the route and wade into any of the shallow lakes. For families or picnics we recommend Halfmoon Lake and its day use facilities which include picnic areas, swing sets and an easily accessible small and shallow public beach. The perfect stop for a generationally blended family.
If you've taken time this late summer to stroll along downtown Lansing, you may have noticed some interesting installments along River Trail that caused you to pause and stare. That was exactly the idea! The Art Path along Lansing's central river corridor was designed to inspire imagination, draw you in wonder, and evoke contemplation.
There are over twenty art installations set up along the Art Path and they include:
- “Contemplating” by Doug DeLind at the Historic Turner Dodge House in Old Town
- “Leaf Gate” by Craig Hinshaw at the Grassy Knoll South of Turner Dodge
- “Fish Ladder” by Jessica Wang at the Brenke Fish Ladder in Old Town
- “Heavenly” by Michael Magnotta at the Oakland Trail Head
- “Chain of Compassion” byJane Reiter at the Oakland Street Bridge
- “Time” by Kelly O'Neill at the Saginaw Street Trail Head
- “An Ancient Relic From Our Distant Future” by Douglas M. Gruizenga at the River Front Park East
- “Rebirth” by Stephanie Ellis at the River Front Park West
- “Into the Hot, Out of the Cold” by Jim Wolnosky under the Michigan Ave Bridge
- "Mischief" by Dace Koenigsknecht at RE Olds Pocket Park
- “Living” by Emily Luyk under the Kalamazoo Bridge
- “Our Elements” by Christine Beals at the Grassy Knoll Just North of the 496 Bridge
- “Being and Autism” by William Charland underneath the 496 Bridge
- “No Time for Fear” by Madeline Jackson underneath the 496 Bridge
- “George Floyd” by Isiah Lattimore underneath the 496 Bridge
- “Keep It Grand Lansing” by Ann Lewis underneath the 496 Bridge
- “St. Cecilia” by Isiah Lattimore underneath the 496 Bridge
- “Antidote” by Kylie Thomas underneath the Elm St. Bridge
- “Adopted” by Martha Carés at Elm Park
- “Pondscum” by Dayna Walton underneath the Cedar St. Bridge
So take some time to explore the world around you and wonder at the beauty that is Lansing's Art Path.