State of the State to Include Painting in Tribute to Oxford 

State of the State to Include Painting in Tribute to Oxford 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 24, 2022

Contact: Press@Michigan.gov   

 

Gov. Whitmer Announces 2022 State of the State Program to Include Student Painting in Tribute to Oxford

 

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced that the 2022 State of the State program will pay tribute to the victims, families, and entire Oxford community with a painting by local student Luke. Luke pays homage with a painting of a photo that was taken in the parking lot of Oxford High School a week before the tragedy. The meaningful art piece will be featured inside the 2022 State of the State program cover.

 

“What is most special to me about Oxford are the stunning sunsets and sunrises atop North Oxford Road which brings light to a new day,” said Oxford High School student, Luke.

 

“Oxford is a strong, resilient community, and Michiganders everywhere stand with the victims, families, and entire community,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Luke’s depiction of the Oxford sky is beautiful. It reminds all of us to look up and look out for each other. I want to thank Luke for taking the time to create this masterpiece and for enshrining something he loves about his hometown into Michigan’s history.”

 

Student Painting in Tribute to Oxford

 

During her 2022 State of the State address, Governor Whitmer will share her comprehensive vision for Michigan and lay out policy proposals to put Michiganders first. She will speak to the progress we’ve made together and the kitchen-table issues that matter most to working families.

 

The 2022 State of the State address will be held in a virtual format and broadcast live throughout the state on Wednesday, January 26 at 7:00PM.

Whitmer Presents Purple Hearts to National Guard

Whitmer Presents Purple Hearts to National Guard

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 24, 2022

Contact: Michael Kroll, krollm2@michigan.gov

 

Gov. Whitmer Presents Purple Hearts to Michigan National Guard Soldiers

 

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Whitmer yesterday presented the Purple Heart to Soldiers of the Michigan National Guard (MING) for injuries sustained January 8, 2020 during an Iranian ballistic missile attack while deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

 

The ceremony was held at the Grand Ledge Army Aviation Support Facility. At the time of the attack, the injured soldiers were MEDEVAC personnel within Detachment 1, Company C, 3-238th General Support Aviation Battalion. Three soldiers, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Zylstra, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Goebel and Sgt. Joseph Suchowolec, were present to receive the Purple Heart. Sgt. Andrew Burton, formerly with the MING, Warrant Officer Dalton Hamilton and Sgt. Derrick Bimer were unable to attend. Sgt. 1st Class Leonard Adams who was awarded the Purple Heart on May 5, 2020 in a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was also recognized at the ceremony.

 

“I am honored to recognize these Soldiers whose dedication and commitment to their mission was clearly demonstrated by their actions while deployed in Iraq,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “On behalf of the entire state of Michigan, thank you for your service to our state and nation. You are the embodiment of bravery and valor and represent the best of us.”

 

“These Soldiers answered the call to serve and performed admirably while deployed to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “We owe them and their families our sincerest appreciation and gratitude for putting themselves in harm’s way so that we can continue to enjoy our freedoms.”

 

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military. Originally established by General George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit, it was revived in 1932 through an executive order with the first Purple Heart awarded to General Douglas MacArthur.

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

Purple Heart Presentation

 

 

About Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) synchronizes strategic, legislative and fiscal initiatives to build and sustain military readiness, care and advocacy for veterans and cultivate purposeful partnerships. Branch operations include Michigan Veteran Homes, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, State Operations, Army National Guard and Air National Guard which stand in support of our mission to serve every member. For more information, please visit: https://www.michigan.gov/dmva.

OC Focused on Vaccinations During COVID-19 Surge

OC Focused on Vaccinations During COVID-19 Surge

Oakland County Focused on Vaccinations During COVID-19 Surge

Pontiac, Michigan – Two additional schools will be participating in Oakland County Health Division’s school-based COVID-19 vaccine clinicsPontiac Academy for Excellence on Jan. 26 and Hazel Park Junior High School on Feb. 3, both from 4-6 p.m. About 291,000 Oakland County residents remain unvaccinated, 102,000 of whom are 19 years old or younger.

The Health Division continues to administer pediatric, first, second, third, and booster doses for all eligible residents at its North Oakland Health Center in Pontiac, South Oakland Health Center in Southfield, and other community clinics. To schedule an appointment, click on OaklandCountyVaccine.com or contact the Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.

New COVID-19 cases in Oakland County continued to rise last week while the percent positivity rate for COVID testing dipped. There were more than 32,000 confirmed and probable cases in the county from Jan. 3 – 16, up 3,000 from the previous week’s report. Residents 18 years old or younger accounted for almost one in four of the new cases. The seven-day percent positivity rate for COVID tests dropped a half-percentage point to 32.76 percent.

Vaccinations along with masking, social distancing, and remaining at home when symptomatic remain the most effective ways to limit the spread of the virus and minimize severe illness.

The Health Division also continues to host drive-through testing for COVID-19 four days a week. To make an appointment or for locations, go to oakgov.com/COVID and click on the COVID Testing button or contact the Nurse on Call.

The following is an update on COVID-19 vaccine coverage for Oakland County residents, according to the State of Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard as of Jan. 18, 2022:

  • Total eligible residents 5 years old and older: 1,190,128
    • Number of residents 5 and older who have received first dose: 898,954
    • Number of residents 5 and older who have completed vaccination: 816,212
    • Vaccine coverage for residents 5 and older: 75.5 percent
  • Total eligible residents 12 years old and older: 1,091,389
    • Number of residents 12 and older who have received first dose: 861,644
    • Number of residents 12 and older who have completed vaccination: 787,849
    • Vaccine coverage for residents 12 and older: 79 percent
  • Total eligible residents 16 years old and older: 1,029,737
    • Number of residents 16 and older who have received first dose: 823,364
    • Number of residents 16 and older who have completed vaccination: 752,690
    • Vaccine coverage for residents 16 and older: 80.0 percent
  • Total eligible senior residents 65 years old and older: 217,676
    • Number of senior residents who have received first dose: 202,363
    • Number of senior residents who have completed vaccination: 186,567
    • Vaccine coverage for senior residents: 93.0 percent
  • Total primary series doses administered in Oakland County: 1,648,523
  • Total third and booster doses administered in Oakland County: 380,526
Believe in Michigan: Delivering for Older Michiganders

Believe in Michigan: Delivering for Older Michiganders

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2022

Contact: press@michigan.gov

 

Believe in Michigan: Delivering for Older Michiganders

Michiganders celebrate why they believe in Michigan through video series leading up to Governor Whitmer’s State of the State address

 

LANSING, Mich. – Leading up to the Governor’s State of the State address, Gov. Whitmer’s team set out to hear from Michiganders across the state on why they believe in Michigan. We’ll share their thoughts each day leading up to the address in a video series.

 

“We have to do more to help older Michiganders access affordable healthcare, retire with dignity, and have attainable, affordable housing,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am committed to driving down the cost of prescription drugs, easing the tax burden on seniors, and expanding access to nursing homes and alternatives. We will build on our reputation as an ‘age-friendly’ state and continue putting seniors first.”

 

Frankie Jones

 

 

“I’ve been in Michigan ever since I was six years old, and I love Michigan,” said Frankie Jones, a retired resident from Ypsilanti. “I love the community because we are a close-knit community.

 

After sharing her story of loss, she noted she still has hope in her home state, “What gives me hope is that we’re still standing. We’re still thriving. There’s some good people in Michigan. We are going to continue to have hope and love, and there are people here that want the same thing that most of us want. And that’s like living a good life.”

 

Governor Whitmer’s Focus on Delivering for Older Michiganders

The Whitmer administration helped Michigan become the first “Age-Friendly State” in the Midwest to ensure the state is prepared for dramatic and imminent demographic changes and that communities can take steps to accommodate all ages.

 

In state budgets year after year, the governor consistently invested in programs supporting older Michiganders including increasing nursing home support payments; expanding services to age in place, senior home care, and access to senior centers; improving preventative services, transportation options, and meal delivery; and combatting elder abuse.

 

The governor signed an executive order creating the new Health and Aging Services Administration (HASA) within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to provide more coordinated services to Michigan’s growing aging population by combining the former MDHHS Aging and Adult Services Agency and Medical Services Administration under one umbrella within MDHHS. Michigan’s Medicaid Office is also part of the new HASA.

 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Whitmer made seniors a priority by protecting residents and staff in long-term care facilities. Executive Order (EO) 2020-191 maintained strong protocols in nursing homes to protect seniors. The governor signed another EO establishing the Nursing Home Workforce Stabilization Council to identify review, develop, and recommend policies, administrative actions, legislative changes, and other approaches to support high-quality nursing home care. In addition, Gov. Whitmer has:

 

  • Proposed an elimination of the pension tax to provide an $800 tax break to over 400,000 seniors with pensions in Michigan.
  • Supported distribution of nearly 1.6 million tests to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities
  • Oversaw the delivery of 1,279,594 meals to elderly adults in congregate care.

 

 

Believe in Michigan: Investing in Education and Talent

Believe in Michigan: Investing in Education and Talent

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 23, 2022

Contact: press@michigan.gov

 

Believe in Michigan: Investing in Education and Talent 

Michiganders celebrate why they believe in Michigan through video series leading up to Governor Whitmer’s State of the State address

 

LANSING, Mich. – Leading up to the Governor’s State of the State address, Gov. Whitmer’s team set out to hear from Michiganders across the state on why they believe in Michigan. We’ll share their thoughts each day leading up to the address in a video series.

 

“I will always strive to make bigger, bolder investments in our kids, teachers, and schools because when they succeed, we all succeed,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Every Michigander deserves a path to a high wage job, and I am committed to making that dream a reality for more residents.”

 

 Kendra Barclay

 

 

“I want to see my state government focus on infrastructure, clean water, better roads and bridges, and ample power supplies. Creating opportunities for us all to live equitably, regardless of your county, your salary, your school district or your race,” said Kendra Barclay, Midtown Detroit resident and teacher. “I also would like to see a focus on teacher retention and attracting more people to the profession. “

 

Barclay, who spent a year working on an island of South Carolina, shared her thoughts on why she believes in Michigan and is glad to be back, “I believe in Michigan because even though I know there is room for teachers here and across the country to be better compensated for what we do, leaving the south and working here in Michigan afforded me a better lifestyle.  I want all of our residents to feel the way I do about Michigan. It’s a great place to be.”

 

Governor Whitmer’s Focus on Education, Talent 

 

From her first day in office, Gov. Whitmer has worked to expand opportunities and improve outcomes for Michiganders. Governor Whitmer made the largest education investment in state history-without raising taxes-to close the funding gap between schools in Michigan, expand access to preschool program for 22,000 more four-year-olds, and distribute resources to expand mental health supports for our kids. These historic investments ensure our schools have the funds to help each and every Michigander reach their full potential.

 

The Governor also believes that every Michigander deserves a path to a high wage job, and she is committed to making college degrees and skill certificates available and affordable for more residents. Since last Sept., over 170,000 Michiganders applied for scholarships through Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners, two programs she created to put people on tuition-free paths to better-paying jobs. Here are a few other key numbers to celebrate:

 

  • $8,700 per student closes funding gap between schools, part of largest education investment in state history.
  • 100% of eligible four-year-olds can attend free, high-quality preschool under Michigan’s home-grown Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
  • 170,000 Michiganders on path to good-paying jobs because of Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners.

 

 

Tri-Share Child Care Program Supports Working Families 

Tri-Share Child Care Program Supports Working Families 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 21, 2022

Contact: press@michigan.gov

 

Gov. Whitmer Celebrates Expansion of MI Tri-Share Child Care Program Which Supports Michigan’s Working Families

 

LANSING, Mich. – As part of the state’s efforts to increase access to high quality, affordable child care for working families, help retain talent and remove a major barrier to employment, the Michigan Women’s Commission (MWC) was awarded $800,000 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch two additional regional pilots of the MI Tri-Share Child Care Program. Mothering Justice in Detroit and Battle Creek Shared Services Alliance in Battle Creek will serve as the new facilitator hubs administering these grant dollars.

 

“Our investment in high-quality, affordable child care, continues to help parents get back to work and is foundational to our economic recovery,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “As we drive down the cost of child care in Michigan, these lasting investments and public-private partnerships will empower us to help more working families in Michigan. In Michigan today, one in three children 12 and under are eligible for low or no-cost childcare, and we will continue working to expand access and lower costs.”

 

Through Tri-Share, the cost of child care is shared equally by an eligible employee, their employer and the State of Michigan, with coordination being provided regionally by a facilitator hub.

 

“Child care is integral to the economic stability of Michigan families,” said Cheryl BergmanCEO of the MWC. “While administering Tri-Share, we continue to witness its positive impact and how it helps alleviate the financial burden families face. With the overwhelming positive response and support from the Whitmer administration and foundations like the Kellogg Foundation, the MWC continues to be well-positioned to further expand the program moving forward.”

 

The Kellogg Foundation grant also includes funds for an outside evaluation of how Tri-Share is working, as well as investments in and supports for child care providers, such as training and professional development. Tri-Share facilitator hubs currently administer the pilot program in the Great Lakes Bay region, Northwest Lower Peninsula region, West Michigan region, Calhoun County and the City of Detroit.

 

“High-quality, cost-effective child care needs to be regarded as a basic public service and a means to position every child to achieve future success,” said Faye NelsonDirector Michigan Programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “The Kellogg Foundation is proud to make this investment to support the continued expansion and success of Tri-Share.”

 

“Child care is a right and we are excited to assist in furthering opportunities for the whole family. This is a first step in creating a system that is more accessible.” said Krista McClureDirector of Special Projects at Mothering Justice. “We’re proud to be part of a program helping more families achieve this kind of success.”

 

Tri-Share, a first of its kind program in the country, has received bi-partisan support. The legislature included $2.5M in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget to expand the Tri-Share pilot program following Gov. Whitmer’s recommendation. The budget also included a historic investment in child care, allocating $1.4 billion of federal COVID funds to help support child care providers, reduce costs and expand subsidies to another 105,000 Michigan families. As a result, thousands of parents will be able to re-enter the workforce after the disruptions of COVID and the state is laying the foundation for a more equitable and sustainable long-term base of support for early childhood in Michigan.

 

“Employees receiving child care assistance see improved employment outcomes, are employed at higher rates and see greater job retention,” said Kathleen MooreExecutive Director of the Battle Creek Shared Services Alliance. “In an era when we’re seeing parents choosing between their jobs and child care services, it’s inspiring to see Tri-Share succeeding and growing.”

 

Details about the Tri-Share program, including current pilot regions and participating employers, can be found at michigan.gov/Tri-Share.