Career Connect Newsletter: October 2020

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Career Connect Newsletter

October 2020

Futures for Frontliners graphic image

Tuition-free pathways for essential workers

Did you work in a hospital, grocery store, sanitation or police department, or other essential industry this spring? If so, you may be eligible to return to school tuition-free, either full- or part time, while you work.

Futures for Frontliners offers free tuition & services for those who worked essential jobs April – June 2020.

Haven’t completed high school? The program also supports adults who do not yet have a high school diploma or equivalency. Individuals will be offered adult education services before or while they are enrolled in postsecondary education or training.

Visit the Futures for Frontliners website to learn more about the requirements and how to apply.

Pure Michigan Talent Connect logo

Find your next job today!

Looking for a new job? There are currently more than 64,000 jobs available on Pure Michigan Talent Connect!

Begin your search by visiting and creating your jobseeker profile (it’s free!) Search for full-time, part-time or temporary jobs. Want to work remotely? Refine your search to see those positions.

Michigan employers are looking to hire. Your next, new or second job awaits – find it on Pure Michigan Talent Connect.

Manufacturing jobs in Michigan graphic image

Talent needed in high-skill,
high-wage careers

Michigan began the month of October celebrating Manufacturing Week – and for good reason.

Michigan has created more than 162,000 new manufacturing jobs in the last 11 years, remaining the national leader in manufacturing job creation and outpacing all other states. In all, Michigan has more than 11,000 unique manufacturing firms, which account for 626,000 jobs and $98.64 billion of total output annually.

Michigan has been the heart and soul of manufacturing in the U.S. for decades. You can explore many of these high-tech, high-skilled and well-paid career options – careers where average annual compensation and benefits are higher than the average across all industries – at  

For more information on manufacturing in Michigan, check out the Industry Cluster Workforce Analysis report from 2019.

virtual job fair graphic image

Virtual job fairs… and more!

Job and career fairs are taking place across the state – most of them virtually – to bring Michigan jobseekers and employers together. Don’t miss out! Participating in an event will help to expand your network, creating opportunities to engage with and get feedback from employers.

Visit the Career Events Calendar on Pure Michigan Talent Connect and search for events by date and location. Do you prefer in-person or virtual events? There are plenty of options for you to choose from.

New events are added regularly – be sure to check the Events Calendar often for great opportunities near you!

Photo of adult students

Great resources for jobseekers

Want to make a great impression during a virtual job fair? Ready to get back to work but need some help preparing? The Skills to Work digital hub and its Return-to-Work Playbook have free resources to assist you.

The website includes information and links to videos, brochures and other websites to help those preparing to return to the workforce. The Playbook features job readiness resources such as step-by-step instructions for developing a resume, job search advice, and tips to help prepare for interviews, and much more!

Explore your options at the Skills to Work digital hub!

Photo of college students walking to class

College support for Michiganders

Attending college has never made more sense – and the State of Michigan is ready to support you.

Governor Whitmer proclaimed October as College Month to connect Michiganders with educational and financial resources and to help close the skills gap and move the state closer to reaching the governor’s Sixty by 30 goal, which aims to increase the number of working-age adults with a skills certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030. 

To encourage Michiganders to apply for college, during the month of October, all Michigan colleges will accept the National Association for College Admission Counseling application fee waiver for any student who has demonstrated financial need.  

This announcement comes on the heels of Governor Whitmer’s introduction of Futures for Frontliners, the nation’s first-of-its-kind program offering tuition-free college to Michiganders who served on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program also supports those who do not yet have a high school diploma or equivalency.

To learn more about adult education options in Michigan, visit

Photo of student reading book in library

Food assistance now available to qualifying college students

Michigan college students in Career and Technical Education programs are now eligible to receive food assistance if they meet other eligibility requirements.

The Michigan departments of Labor and Economic Opportunity and Health and Human Services are encouraging students to apply for food assistance benefits online at

Low-income college students in Michigan who are enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs may be eligible to receive food assistance benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

To apply for SNAP benefits, visit To learn more, read this update about the program.

Hispanic Latino Commission image

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and its partners are working toward closing the gap in educational attainment and increasing employment opportunities for Hispanic people in our state.

The Hispanic/Latino Commission within LEO promotes Michigan’s career development services to Hispanic residents. More information about these services and other resources are available on their website.

Photo of worker using sign language

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

It’s entirely appropriate we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Vocational Rehabilitation and the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in October – which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

As part of its commemoration, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has been presenting information weekly on their connection to the ADA. The opening presentation featured the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and the support they provide to help Michiganders with disabilities gain and retain employment. The second presentation focused on Workforce Development programs and the Michigan Works! system. 

The month of October is also Investing in Abilities Month – shining an additional spotlight on the value of ensuring equity and access for all.

For information on upcoming events and the statewide #ADA30 efforts, please visit


More Resources for Persons with Disabilities

Did you know you can opt-in to receive important information from BSBP and MRS when you create an account on Pure Michigan Talent Connect, the state’s jobs portal?

Persons with disabilities can also use Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s “Advanced Job Search” feature to identify opportunities that may be of particular interest. Visit, begin an “Advanced Search”, and be sure to select the “People with disabilities” option under “Job Characteristics”. Please note using this filter does not disclose or otherwise identify you as a person with a disability; the filter is intended to help identify opportunities that look to promote inclusion of people with disabilities within their workforce.

You can also register to receive the very latest information from MRS by entering your email address in the “Information Subscribe” field on the MRS website,

More great information is available from BSBP’s Braille and Talking Book Library – you can register to receive their newsletters by entering your email address on their website.

Learn more about BSBP’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Post Secondary Readiness Programs at