At its regularly scheduled meeting January 16, the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges called on state lawmakers to adopt and fund Governor Ralph Northam’s G3 Initiative.
G3 (“Get a Skill, Get a Job, Give Back”) is a is a targeted program that would provide extra financial assistance to low-and-middle-income Virginians who seek training in the fields of healthcare, information technology and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, early childhood education, and public safety.
The initiative ($145 million dollars over the next two budget years) would be the biggest investment in Virginia’s Community Colleges in a generation and would greatly reduce out-of-pocket expenses for students in select programs.
Based on historic enrollments in programs aligned with the identified career areas, the projected number of students who might be eligible for the G3 program is 39,160.
The board’s resolution, adopted unanimously, also directs community colleges to begin preparations to implement the G3 program as quickly and smoothly as possible. Several teams at the VCCS system office are working on plans to support the implementation process.
“There’s work to be done here by all of our people statewide,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “G3 is competing with many other issues for attention at the General Assembly and we have basically four weeks to convince state lawmakers that this program should be a priority. Certainly, we want our college presidents and local board members to advocate for G3 with business and government leaders, but we also hope that college faculty and staff around Virginia will add their voices to the choir,” said DuBois.
“The G3 Initiative is an important step toward bringing more equity to higher education in Virginia,” said Dr. Susan Gooden, chair of the State Board. “Our Board works hard to keep community college tuition and fees affordable for Virginia families. However, we know that price and the cost of books represents only a fraction of the expense of going to college.”
“I applaud G3’s focus on career fields where businesses are having a hard time finding trained and skilled people to hire,” said Ed Dalrymple, vice chair of the State Board. “As a businessman, I’ve experienced that challenge and it’s frustrating. It means that good-paying jobs are sitting empty, and that businesses are being held back and not as competitive as they could be.”
To read the VCCS state board’s resolution supporting G3, click here.
To read the news release about the board’s action, click here.
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