Davenport offers four-year scholarships to Veteran-friendly employers

Veterans will find it even easier to take advantage of their college benefits with Davenport’s new veteran-friendly employer scholarship program.  The new program, a partnership with the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency, provides additional scholarship monies to the entire workforce to help them complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree or pursue professional training to enhance their skills or gain industry-recognized certifications, regardless of veteran status.

General Electric (GE) and Haworth are the latest recipients of Davenport University’s Veteran-friendly employer scholarship program.

“By partnering with Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, we’re able to honor businesses that honor our veterans and remove barriers to advancement many employees face,” said Dr. Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University. “GE and Haworth are prime examples of companies that are committed to supporting the veteran population, growing their workforce, and promoting from within. It’s a way to help employers support those with proven potential.”

The program grants employees at more than 400 veteran-friendly certified businesses and agencies across Michigan unique scholarships at Davenport University in recognition of their employers’ commitment to those who have served our country.

“Haworth is proud to partner with Davenport University to offer scholarships to all our members who seek higher education,” said Franco Bianchi, Haworth president and CEO. “We value continuous learning, and this is an opportunity for our members to grow personally and professionally. We’re excited to support a program that strengthens our talent.”

Veteran-Friendly Employers (VFEs) collectively employ more than 30,000 of Michigan’s 552,000 veterans. 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.

“We believe in investing in our people – providing a space for our employees to thrive personally and professionally,” said Jason Torrez, senior director of software engineering and site leader for GE’s technology center in Van Buren Township. “This includes investing within. At GE, one of the ways we support our associates is through employee resource groups, including our Veterans Network. We work every day to support our veterans. These scholarships give our team members the boost needed to qualify for open positions within our organization and grow their skill set to keep up with changing technology.”

Employers who earn the veteran-friendly designation, earn the scholarship opportunity for their entire workforce.  As a result, employees who are interested in participating do not need to be a veteran to qualify.

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.”

A complete list of Gold, Silver, and Bronze-level employers may be found at michiganveterans.com. To receive more information or apply for the Veteran-Friendly Certified Employer Scholarship, please visit davenport.edu/mvaa or contact Jason Bos in Admissions at Jason.Bos@davenport.edu or 616.742.2075.

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