Since 2016, the UFCW has been committed to helping our members and their families build a better life through our continuing education programs. We started this with our Free College program and were able to expand our offerings to include GED classes, foreign language classes, and workforce essentials classes, all at no cost to our members.
Unfortunately, we were made aware that Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) has been ordered to suspend the Free College program immediately because the Department of Education believes it violates Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
EGCC disputes these charges, and you can read their response as well as answers to frequently asked questions here: https://egcc.edu/press-release/.
Students who were enrolled in the program by July 18 will be able to attend the Fall 2022 semester and the college is working on an alternative plan for students who enrolled after that date.
This program not only offered free college to UFCW members but to thousands of other union members. We firmly believe that all union members deserve the opportunity to better their lives through education. That is why we are working with both ECGG and the Department of Education to get answers to all the questions raised by this decision and to figure out a solution moving forward.
We will be in touch with more information as we receive it. Your access to our other educational programs, such as Free Foreign Language, Free GED, and Workforce Essentials, are not affected.
Thank you for all you do to support our union family and yours.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Jeffrey W. Jones
UFCW Local 1459