LANSING, Mich. — Earlier tonight, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered her sixth State of the State address, where she laid out a wide-ranging plan to boost Michigan’s population growth and improve economic prosperity. MCAN is particularly enthusiastic about the governor’s plan to provide two years of tuition-free community college for all Michigan high school graduates, regardless of age. Two years of free postsecondary education was a key recommendation by the Growing Michigan Together Council, who noted postsecondary attainment is “directly correlated with higher-paying jobs and the ability to recruit the next generation of employers.” MCAN Executive Director Ryan Fewins-Bliss is a member of the Higher Education Workgroup that helped advise the Growing Michigan Together Council’s final recommendations.
Statement from MCAN Executive Director Ryan Fewins-Bliss:
“Gov. Whitmer understands that if Michigan is going to compete in the 21st century economy, we need to get more residents to and through college. As we position our state to be leaders in renewable energy, electric vehicles, modern manufacturing and emerging technologies, we need to invest in a future-ready workforce that can attract and retain high quality employers. As we push to make postsecondary education affordable for all Michiganders — especially low-income people, potential first-generation college-going students, and people of color — two years of free community college is a powerful investment in our residents that will pay huge dividends down the road.
“We know that postsecondary attainment directly correlates to benefits beyond individual economics, including better health outcomes, decreased reliance on public assistance, lower crime rates, and increased civic engagement. The governor’s free community college plan, in addition to the groundbreaking Michigan Achievement Scholarship, will open the doors of postsecondary education for thousands of students who were previously locked out of these opportunities and the accompanying benefits, helping us build stronger communities and more economically stable families.
“As we look ahead to budget season, MCAN is eager to work with Gov.Whitmer and the legislature to craft a budget with bold educational investments that move us closer to Sixty by 30 and support Michiganders, in the governor’s words, ‘from pre-K, through postsecondary, to prosperity.’”
Governor announced push for two years of community college at State of the State address