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Governor Whitmer Applauds Veteran-Friendly Departments, Colleges, Universities


November 11, 2019 


Governor Whitmer Applauds Veteran-Friendly Departments, Colleges, Universities 


LANSING, Mich. --- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer congratulated a number of Michigan state departments, colleges, and universities for achieving veteran-friendly status.  


“Our veterans put their lives on the line for our country, and they deserve peace of mind knowing that they’ll have access to a great education and paths to good jobs when they return home,” said Governor Whitmer. These departments, colleges, and universities have set an example for the rest of the state, and I’m hopeful that this list will grow in the very near future. I’m eager to work with all of our leaders to ensure those who have served our state and their families are treated with the respect they’ve earned when they return home.” 


The Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency (MVAA) certifies employers who are veteran-friendly. MVAA recognizes employers that commit to military veteran recruitment, training, and retention practices by awarding those employers Gold, Silver and Bronze level status.   


The state departments that have already received veteran-friendly status include the Departments of Transportation, Corrections, Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, Health and Human Services, and the Michigan State Police. This month, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Workforce Development Division (LEO-WD) became the latest state agency with veteran-friendly status.   


“When it comes to creating and nurturing opportunities for veterans, it’s our responsibility to lead by example,” said Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Workforce Development Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “Led by Governor Whitmer, the State of Michigan’s daily commitment to veterans and their families has never been greater. We recognize that veterans bring skills, an outstanding work ethic and a solid foundation of values to the workplace . On every level, supporting veterans is the right thing to do.” 


MVAA also certifies colleges and universities that are veteran-friendly. This program recognizes institutions of higher education who are committed to supporting the needs of student veterans by awarding gold, silver, and bronze-level status to institutions that offer veteran-centric services or program. Currently, over 60 institutions participate in the program including community colleges, state universities, independent colleges, and trade schools. The program encourages colleges to implement best practices, including: 


  • Establishing a process for identification of current student veterans. 
  • Hosting a veteran-specific website. 
  • Supporting an active student-operated veterans club or association. 
  • Offering veteran-specific career services, resources, advising and/or outcome monitoring. 
  • Employing an on-campus veteran’s coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact. 
  • Creating a system to evaluate and award credit based on prior military training and experience. 
  • Monitoring and evaluating student veteran academic retention, transfer and graduation rates. 


14 of Michigan’s state universities, 17 community colleges, 5 independent colleges, and the Detroit School for Digital Technology are currently “Gold Star Veteran-Friendly Schools” as designated by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Today, Lake Superior State University, Monroe County Community College, and Lake Michigan College announced plans to reach gold-star status this year. When Lake Superior State University achieves gold-level status, all 100% of public universities will have achieved this prestigious designation.    


“We’re honored to be able to contribute to the educational success of veterans in our region,” said Dr. Trevor Kubatzke, Lake Michigan College President. “Serving those who served our country by providing customized resources and opportunities is the right thing to do. It’s also tremendously beneficial for all of our students to engage with veterans in and out of the classroom. Our campus culture is better for it and the employers in our community appreciate a qualified candidate pool of graduates to hire from who offer a robust combination of academic, military and life experience.”  


To learn more about becoming a veteran-friendly employer or to see a full list of veteran-friendly employers, visit  


To learn more about becoming a veteran-friendly school or to see a full list of veteran-friendly schools, visit