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Governor Whitmer kicks off "Home for Opportunity Tour" and appears on WGVU-TV's "West Michigan Week"

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is guest on WGVU-TV's West Michigan Week

Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited Grand Rapids Wednesday kicking of her post-State of the State Address “Home for Opportunity Tour.” It’s a statewide 50-event tour focusing on fixing the state’s roads and preparing the 21st Century workforce. I spoke with Governor Whitmer during a recording of WGVU-TV’s “West Michigan Week.” 

“We’ve got jobs that are going unfilled today because we have a big skills gap in Michigan and it starts with the education of our kids.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer explains the state must address the challenge of an education system falling behind other states impacting the business community.

“But it continues with making sure that everyone has a real path to a high-wage skill. I announced the Michigan Reconnect last night as well as the MI Opportunity Scholarship.”

It’s a scholarship for two years tuition-free community college or two years tuition-free at a four year in-state university for high school graduates with a B average. Michigan Reconnect trains adults seeking in-demand industry certification or an associate degree. Governor Whitmer visiting with West Michigan business leaders at non-profit economic development organization, The Right Place, followed by a tour of Grand Rapids Community College.

“So, this is what I’m trying to do is make sure that people can see a real path to reskilling, skilling-up, or getting skills once they leave high school whether it’s into the trades or a great community college, I was just over at GRCC, or going on to a 4-year degree.”

With the average cost of a four year, Michigan public university tuition pegged at almost $22,000 a year, Governor Whitmer argues paths for developing job skills should be affordable and available to everyone.

How the state will pay for it will be revealed when the governor unveils her budget plan March 5th.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Governor Whitmer is our guest on WGVU-TV's "West Michigan Week" airing Wednesday, February 13th at 6pm and Sunday, Febraury 17th at 10am.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.