Governor Ralph Northam signed the “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative, or “G3” program bill at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus. The G3 program includes $36 million to cover tuition, fees, and books and provide wraparound support for eligible students at the Commonwealth’s two-year public institutions.
The G3 initiative aims to target key industries, from health care and information technology to skilled trades, public safety and early childhood education. Data show that on average, participants in these high-demand degree programs can increase their wages by 60 percent upon program completion and double their individual state tax contributions.
“We are the largest employer in the capitol region,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, president of INOVA Health System. “Healthcare is growing, and technology is growing alongside it. The G3 acceleration is going to accelerate our workforce – not just for healthcare workers but for future technology workers. Now more than ever, we need a diverse workforce. G3 will be the key to that workforce.”
“Thanks to our legislative leaders, “said VCCS Chancellor Glenn Dubois. “We are going to remove the cost to a certificate or degree for jobs that are high in demand. We wouldn’t be here without Governor Northam’s campaign and promise.”
With the “G3” signing, this legislation now becomes one of the first in the nation to provide wraparound financial assistance to help students at the lowest income levels with expenses such as food, transportation, and childcare. “G3” is a step in the right direction toward a more equitable region and Commonwealth. Further, it will provide vital financial support for many students who might otherwise not be able to pursue a meaningful career that promises advancement and opportunity.
“For NOVA, G3 puts a college degree that leads to a meaningful career within reach of the full diversity of the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA. “An investment in community college students is an investment in Virginia, one that will help families find economic security while helping the state achieve economic growth.”
“This is an honor to represent Northern Virginia Community College and the G3 program,” said Fandrea Preston, cybersecurity student at NOVA. “I finished all my chemotherapy in early 2020, and I enrolled at NOVA in the cyber security [program] in Fall of 2020. I know how much I need to represent a people like myself in this field. This will help someone like me.”