Employees at nearly 400 veteran-friendly certified businesses and agencies across Michigan are now eligible to receive a special scholarship at Davenport University in recognition of their employers’ commitment to those who have served our country.
These Veteran-Friendly Employers (VFEs) collectively employ more than 30,000 of Michigan’s 552,000 veterans.
“This new partnership helps remove barriers so veterans can continue their education, and we’re honored to help employees of these veteran-friendly businesses pursue their academic dreams, as well,” said Dr. Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University. “By offering these scholarships in partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, we’re able to help people currently in the workforce complete their bachelor’s or master’s degree, or pursue professional training to enhance their skills or gain industry-recognized certifications.”
Davenport University, with classes offered online and on campuses in Holland, Grand Rapids, Midland, Lansing, Warren and Detroit, is a Gold-level Veteran-Friendly School (VFS). The Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency (MVAA) awards this designation based on an academic institution’s commitment to supporting the needs of veterans and military-connected students. The university offers veteran-specific career services, an active student veteran organization, an on-campus veteran coordinator, peer support and mentoring programs, and other veteran-specific benefits.
MVAA Director Zaneta Adams said Davenport University’s scholarship initiative supports Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 Goal, which aims to increase the number of working-age adults in Michigan with a skill certificate or college degree from 45% today to 60% by 2030.
“This opportunity is also a great example of how our Veteran-Friendly Schools and Veteran-Friendly Employers can come together to enhance the lives of Michigan workers,” Adams said. “This scholarship initiative – the first of its kind in Michigan – should have a significant impact in helping veterans and non-veterans alike further their educational and professional training goals.”
The VFE program was established in 2013 and is cited as one of the nation’s most rigorous veteran-friendly initiatives. It recognizes employers that commit to veteran talent attraction, training and retention practices by awarding those employers Gold, Silver and Bronze-level status. The program grew by 51% last year and now includes nearly 400 private and public employers.
The Davenport University scholarship awards vary by employer level. Employees of Bronze-level employers are eligible for a scholarship for up to $2,500 toward tuition for most undergraduate and graduate degree programs, while employees of Silver-level employers are eligible for up to $4,500 toward tuition. Employees of Gold-level businesses receive a custom offering that includes all Silver-level offerings plus additional benefits. Each scholarship is renewable and applies to 22 credits per year for four years. Employees at VFEs do not have to be veterans to participate.
A complete list of Gold, Silver and Bronze-level employers may be found at michiganveterans.com.
Gold-level employers include General Motors, DTE Energy, Comerica Bank, Consumers Energy, MDOT, Michigan State Police, Quicken Loans and others, while Silver-level employers include Beaumont Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, GE, Ford Motor Company, Denso and others. Bronze-level employers include Detroit Zoological Society, City of Lansing, Bell Tire, Bell’s Brewery, and more.