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NEWS:Michigan College Access Network invests additional $40,000 to continue support of the Winning Futures Workforce Prep Pilot Program

Michigan Business Network
January 6, 2020 3:00 PM


Grant will serve a cohort of students for three years

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is investing $40,000 over three years to support the launch of the Winning Futures Workforce Prep pilot program in Warren. The program will serve at least 80 students in a cohort from Warren Mott and Harper Woods high schools from 11th grade through their first year of postsecondary education. This is the third Innovative Program Grant that MCAN has awarded to Winning Futures.

MichCANThe pilot program goals include:
  • Students applying to at least one postsecondary education option while in the program.
  • Students’ completion of their first year of postsecondary education toward becoming credentialed in their career path.
  • Increased confidence in professionalism.
  • Improved workplace behaviors and broader professional networks.
  • Completed resume with workplace experience.

“Our students — the majority of whom are low-income, first-generation college-goers, and/or minorities — face an uphill battle in obtaining the education and connections to get into a financially stable career,” said Kris Marshall, president and CEO of Winning Futures. “This program exposes them to postsecondary education options, careers and professional environments, preparing them for their future.”

“MCAN is excited to continue our investment in Winning Futures because their work aligns with MCAN’s mission of increasing college attainment and providing opportunities for students to plan for their future,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN.  “A key element of this program is the inclusion of an alumni year to maintain contact with students after high school graduation.”

MCAN’s Innovative Program Grants are designed to fund initiatives that increase college readiness, enrollment and completion in communities across the state. Since these grants were introduced in 2016, MCAN has awarded more than $385,000 in 36 Innovative Program Grants to organizations throughout Michigan.

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 45% as of 2019. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

Winning Futures, an award-winning nonprofit, empowers students through life skills and mentoring programs. Through their evidence-based and structured Workforce Prep program, students throughout metro Detroit are immersed in a four-year experiential curriculum that includes in-class mentoring, life skills development, goal setting, job readiness training and career exploration. With help from volunteer mentors and partnerships with the business community, students are transformed into self-reliant, employable and productive adults. Since 1994, Winning Futures has positively impacted 49,000 students and awarded $1.9 million in scholarships.


Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.