Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

Midland Area Community Foundation announces support for Michigan Reconnect, tuition-free community college

February 17th, 2021

The Midland Area Community Foundation announced it will serve as a champion to support the Michigan Reconnect program, unveiled earlier this month.

The program seeks to address a statewide shortage of highly skilled workers by providing the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied.

A 2020 analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges reports the median earnings of full-time employees with a high school degree is $40,510 annually, while those with an associate degree make $50,079 per year, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Michigan employers’ ability to find highly skilled employees is more difficult than ever and is cited as a top concern in the most recent Michigan Future Business Index Report. Michigan Reconnect will help address the dual challenges of the state’s widening talent gap and aging workforce.

“We believe Michigan Reconnect will not only help individuals and families pursue their dreams, but it will also help build a strong economy that requires a talented and modern workforce to compete for the jobs of the future,” said Sharon Mortensen, President and CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation.

The program is specifically designed for residents who are 25 years or older and have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent. Michigan Reconnect will help pay the costs of tuition or training for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or technical degree.

To be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, adults must meet the following criteria:

  • Age 25 or older
  • High school graduate or equivalent
  • Michigan resident for at least one year
  • Not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s)

“The Midland Area Community Foundation is proud to support and assist our residents’ efforts to pursue post-secondary education.  A post-secondary degree or credential is often the best way to be able to pursue a career that inspires passion in the individual while also increasing the quality of life for the individual, family, and community,” Mortensen added.

More information, including an application is available at or by calling Midland Area Community Foundation at 989-839-9661.