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Gov. Whitmer Secures Grants to Empower Women


September 20, 2021  


Gov. Whitmer Secures Grants to Empower Women  

Fostering Access Rights and Equity Grant will help women workers understand and exercise their rights and benefits in the workplace 

LANSING, Mich. - Governor Whitmer today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau awarded the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) $350,000 in a Fostering Access Rights and Equity (FARE) grant to help women workers understand and exercise their rights and benefits in the workplace.  

"Women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is crucial that we step up to empower women at the workplace," said Governor Whitmer. "I am grateful to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and the Biden Administration for their work in supporting women's economic recovery by increasing access to resources. This FARE grant will help our community organizations connect women to affordable childcare and provide them with the tools that the they need to succeed."  

The Michigan Women's Commission, housed within LEO, will administer the grant and work with community-based organizations in southeast Michigan to connect women to eligible benefits under the American Rescue Plan, prioritizing available child care subsidies and eligibility for additional benefits. 

"With continued investments in programs and services that remove barriers that prevent women from full and continuous participation in the workforce, we will ensure Michigan women are fully accessing these opportunities," said Susan Corbin, LEO director.  "The Michigan Women's Commission is uniquely positioned to help connect women to these resources, paving a path for more Michigan women, children and families to succeed. 

The Michigan Women's Commission will receive funding in the form of a grant to help women workers understand and exercise their rights and benefits in the workplace by doing the following: 

  • Providing outreach to low-income and marginalized women workers; 
  • Disseminating educational materials through varied platforms, including social media, in-person or virtual events, brochures and leaflets, one-on-one consultations, and other outreach; 
  • Assisting women workers with navigating and calculating benefits; 
  • Connecting and referring women workers to additional services, benefits, and/or legal assistance as needed, reasonable, and/or available; and 
  • Helping women to become focal points for rights, benefits, and assistance in their own communities (i.e., a train-the-trainer model for navigation). 

"As our nation continues its recovery, we must include targeted programming for women workers who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately," said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie A. Su. "Fostering Access, Rights and Equity grants fund vital partnerships to help inform women about their rights and benefits and ensure that women workers share in the prosperity of the nation's economic recovery." 

"The Women's Bureau is determined to overcome the systemic discrimination, racism and gender inequality that women have historically faced," said Women's Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon. "The grants we've awarded today support organizations working on behalf of underserved and marginalized low-income women to ensure their rights to employment are protected and that they have access to all of the benefits available to them."