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Lawrence Tech unveils bold three-part plan to help displaced workers

Release Date: December 3, 2008

Southfield, Mich. - Lawrence Technological University is offering grants for an unprecedented 50 percent of tuition to 400 displaced workers to help them take advantage of new academic programs developed to help strengthen and diversify Michigan's economy. The university is also opening up career networking opportunities to other displaced workers with college degrees.

At a press conference on Wednesday, President Lewis N. Walker unveiled "The Recovery Starts Here: Lawrence Technological University's Stimulus Package for Displaced Workers," a comprehensive, three-pronged initiative to aid Michigan citizens impacted by the financial crisis. The package includes:

  • 400 "Recovery Grants" that provide 50 percent of tuition for eligible displaced workers or their dependent children through the completion of a degree program.
  • Expanded academic programming in such fields as sustainability, alternative energy and life sciences that is geared to strengthen and diversify Michigan's economy and prepare students for the changing global market.
  • Career networking receptions and workshops - not limited to Lawrence Tech alumni and students - that match displaced workers with college degrees with innovative companies that have employment opportunities.

"The Recovery Starts Here package is an investment in the future of our state and nation, and the right thing to do. We believe this is the first comprehensive package of recovery initiatives set forth by any university in the nation," Walker said. "The recovery starts here and it must start with us. We invite other institutions throughout Michigan to join us. Together, we will succeed."

Component 1 - Recovery Grants for Tuition Assistance
The new Lawrence Tech Recovery Grants will fund half the tuition for 400 displaced workers (or the dependent children of displaced workers) who meet the admissions criteria for the programs they wish to enter. Candidates must submit with their admissions application a dated buyout letter, separation agreement or unemployment application to show they are displaced.

The number of grants will initially be limited to the first 200 undergraduate and first 200 graduate students who qualify. Grant recipients will be expected to proceed on a full-time schedule until they have completed their degree programs, taking a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester if undergraduates, and six credit hours if graduate students.

Component 2 - Expanded Educational Option
Lawrence Tech has aggressively recast its existing academic programs and inaugurated new content.  Recent new programs include bachelor's degrees in biomedical engineering, industrial operations engineering, molecular and cell biology, chemical biology, transportation design, and media communication, and certificates in energy engineering and aeronautical engineering. A new leadership training initiative is being integrated throughout the undergraduate curricula.

New master's degree programs include mechatronic systems engineering, architectural engineering, construction engineering management, and the MBA International. Many of these programs and others are offered days, evenings, weekends, or online to provide the flexibility that today's students need.

To introduce future students to opportunities in these emerging fields, Lawrence Tech has planned the following introductory sessions:

  • Graduate Program Open House - Thursday, Dec. 4, 6-7:30 p.m., Buell Management Building atrium. 
  • On-the-Spot Admissions - Thursday, Dec. 11, and Tuesday, Jan. 6,  8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Taubman Student Services Center.
  • Information Fairs -Saturday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday, Jan. 8, 5-7 p.m. at Lawrence Tech Education Centers at Schoolcraft College and Lansing Community College. A third fair will be held at Schoolcraft Saturday, Jan. 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Educational Fair - Thursday, Jan. 8, 2-7:30 p.m., Buell Management Building atrium.

Component 3 - Recovery Starts Here career receptions and workshops Lawrence Tech plans four career networking receptions for displaced workers with college degrees - not limited to Lawrence Tech students and alumni - beginning Jan. 22, 2009, from 5-9 p.m. on campus. Other receptions will follow on April 2, June 4 and Oct. 8.

"We at Lawrence Tech are convinced that all the building blocks required for an economic recovery are already here in Michigan. We aim to do our part to bring enterprising companies and educated workers together," Walker said.  "Combining the creativity of our entrepreneurs and the know-how of our workers will lead to Michigan's next big economic success story."

Additionally, Lawrence Tech's Office of Career Services will offer free workshops designed to meet the professional development needs of displaced workers: "Resume Critiquing by Professionals," "Networking for Success" and "Proven Job Search Strategies."

For more information, call (248)204-3160; email; or visit

Lawrence Technological University,, offers over 80 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus is in Southfield, with education centers in Lansing, Livonia, Clinton Township, Traverse City and Petoskey. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.