Applications for Frontliners due Dec. 31

TRAVERSE CITY — Application deadline for the Futures for Frontliners program is 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31.

According to a release, the program “offers Michigan adults without college degrees or high school diplomas who provided essential services during the pandemic a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers.”

The funding is available to those in the medical field as well as essential workers in manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery and retail among others.

According to the release, to be eligible for the program, applicants must be a resident of Michigan and:

  • Worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 – June 30, 2020
  • Required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time between April 1 – June 30, 2020
  • Not have earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan

Applicants must complete the Futures for Frontliners scholarship application by the deadline.

Interested local applicants can learn more about the program from Northwestern Michigan College on a special page on their website located at

Health, wellness webinar slated

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Connect presents “Coping in a Pandemic” on Jan. 12 at 11:30 a.m.

The free program is the third webinar in Traverse Connect’s Health and Wellness Webinar Series. Guest speaker is Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist Sharon A. Neumann.

According to a release, topics include “positive, effective methods of handling loss during trying times when our normal methods for gaining support are not easily available, including coping mechanisms during this trying time.”

The program is provided by the Professional Development Committee of Traverse Connect. Registration and more information is available at

MSUFCU celebrates its 83rd anniversary

EAST LANSING — MSU Federal Credit Union and its employees celebrated the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the credit union by paying it forward.

Since 2012, MSUFCU employees mark the Nov. 15, 1937 founding of the financial institution with a week-long celebration. The highlight of the week is giving back to the community.

According to a release, MSUFCU employees and its Desk Drawer Fund foundation held “creative, safe, and socially-distanced ways to donate to charities and surprise members at branches during the week of Nov. 15-21.”

The Pay It Forward initiative donated $8,300 to “nonprofit organizations and local heroes chosen by employees” and recipients received between $200 and $500. Each MSUFCU branch received 40 gift cards in $5 increments from nearby businesses to distribute randomly to members who visited the branch that week.

As part of the event, two local heroes each received $500: Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan Executive Director Carolyn Hurst and Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy Art Educator Ryan Holmes. More information and photos are available at the MSUFCU’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

AAA: Gas prices spike in state

DEARBORN — Gas prices in Michigan are up 13 cents over the week before, according to a release from AAA.

Drivers in the state are paying an average of $2.27 per gallon for regular unleaded. This price is 31 cents more than this time in November. The average price of unleaded is 23 cents less than the final week of 2019.

According to the release, motorists are paying an average of $34 for a full 15-gallon tank of gasoline. This is down $10 from July of 2019, when prices were their highest.

The Energy Information Administration data last week reported gasoline supply levels of U.S. gasoline supply levels at 238.7 million bbls, an increase of 1.6 million from more than a year ago.

According to the release, AAA predicts a decrease of 11 percent in utilization rates and a lower demand level will push gas prices down in January.

“The recent gas price pump spikes are a bit surprising given December demand numbers are the lowest posted for the month since 1999,” AAA Spokesperson Adrienne Woodland said in the release. “The increases are likely to be short-lived, especially as holiday road travel is expected to see at least a 25 percent decline.”

According to the release, the least expensive average gas prices were in Traverse City ($2.13), metro Detroit ($2.24) and Ann Arbor ($2.26). The most expensive gas price averages were Lansing ($2.32), Jackson ($2.32) and Grand Rapids ($2.31).

Daily national, state and metro gas price averages are available at

Board Service Accelerator Sessions

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse Connect will host two Board Service Accelerator Sessions, Jan. 20 and 21. The sessions run from 3-5 p.m. both days.

The sessions are part of the organization’s Professional Development Webinar Series. According to a release, registration for the Board Service Accelerator sessions is limited to employees of Traverse Connect investor companies and members of Traverse City Young Professionals.

According to a release, “attendance at both sessions is required to gain a full understanding of the content.”

Topics for the sessions include: Leading effective meetings, a board’s relationship with staff and assessment approaches, curating a culture of philanthropy and future planning tools.

The Board Service Series final webinar, titled “Preparing the Next Generation for Board Service,” is scheduled for Jan. 27.

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