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September 29, 2020

Contact: [email protected], 517-582-2961


More than 60,000 apply for Futures for Frontliners in first two weeks, demonstrate demand for education assistance

Kerry Ebersole named Sixty by 30 director for the State of Michigan, encourages more to apply, continues focus on the need for highly skilled workforce


LANSING, Mich. – With just over two weeks since the program launched, more than 60,000 Michiganders have submitted applications for the new Futures for Frontliners program. The first in nation initiative provides a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who do not have a college degree, including those who lack a high school diploma.


“This past spring, these brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to ensure we have essential services and products we need to stay healthy and safe, I am truly thrilled to see that so many are taking advantage of this program – they earned it,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “I encourage every eligible frontline worker to see if this free college scholarship opportunity is right for them.”


Michigan is committed to increasing economic opportunity by providing residents greater access to the education and skills that create pathways to better jobs and bigger paychecks.


“Good paying jobs and a stronger Michigan economy require more of us to have an education beyond high school. The strong interest in Futures for Frontliners shows us that Michiganders are ready to build a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their loved ones,” Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) director Jeff Donofrio said. “With the economic uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic and the thousands of high-skilled jobs going unfilled, there’s no better time to add new skills.”


To ensure the continued progress towards Gov. Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 education attainment goal, Kerry Ebersole has recently been named Senior Advisor and Director of the Sixty by 30 office within LEO.


“The Sixty by 30 goal and the initiatives and programs that will help us reach it are critical to ensuring hardworking Michiganders have a path to economic opportunity and attracting talent to our state. I am thrilled to have Kerry at the helm ensuring we’re on track,” Gov. Whitmer added.


“In order to help Michiganders on their path to learn new skills needed to succeed in high-demand, high-wage careers, and help businesses fill critical talent needs, we need to remain laser focused on key programs and partnerships to meet the Sixty by 30 goal,” Ebersole said. “By ensuring 60% of working-age Michiganders will have an industry recognized certificate or college degree by 2030, we’re making sure our state remains economically competitive and helping businesses grow, all while fueling the future workforce and providing opportunity for all.”


To discuss how initiatives like Futures for Frontliners can help Michiganders succeed, and answer questions about the program and how essential workers can take advantage of this opportunity, LEO is hosting an initial series of regional Futures for Frontliners virtual townhall sessions with local education and workforce partners.


Learn more about Futures for Frontliners at