The US desperately needs skilled workers. But the community colleges that train them are woefully underfunded

As America seeks to train workers for the hundreds of thousands of new infrastructure jobs that are being created, it will have to lean heavily on community colleges.

But these workhorses of workforce development are facing some infrastructure issues of their own.

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Editorial: To re-engage workers in Virginia, build on G3 and FastForward successes

Virginia leaders recently received some encouraging news about the state’s economy.

Per a Jan. 25 Richmond Times-Dispatch report, the commonwealth’s recovery from COVID-19 keeps progressing. The state’s unemployment rate was 3.2% in December, and roughly 80% of the jobs lost during the public health crisis have returned.

Yet one key caveat in this positive picture is the labor force participation rate: the segment of Virginians age 16 and older who have jobs or are actively seeking employment. That figure was 63% in December 2021, down from 66.3% in February 2020.

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Letters to the Editor for Feb. 17, 2022: A worthwhile investment

A recent editorial by Chris Gentilviso discussed the G3 tuition assistance initiative available to students at Virginia's community colleges. I applaud this initiative for including early childhood education in the list of eligible professions and concentrations.

It’s no secret the early childhood education field is facing a crisis. It’s incredibly difficult to find trained educators who have the skills, patience and passion it takes to leave a meaningful and lasting impact on our youngest learners. Additionally, recruiting new teachers into the field has proven even more challenging given how low wages are for this most valuable workforce.

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¿Equidad en la fuerza laboral?

Si estás leyendo esto, es probable que hayas experimentado algunas barreras culturales en tu vida diaria, como por ejemplo el idioma, quizás en una tienda o en un evento deportivo local. Esto es inconveniente, pero comprensible.

Pero, ¿qué pasaría si no te entienden cuando necesitas atención médica?¿O cuando estás en la búsqueda de una casa nueva?

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Commentary: A multi-generational solution to a right-now situation

In the construction field, a story that begins with “Back in my day ...” is going to lead somewhere good. You’re going to hear about change, grit, but ultimately, you’re going to be pulled in by someone who has decades of knowledge to learn from.

You see, back in my day, our business was done by driving stakes in the ground and using strings to put a curb line into a highway project. Now, you see someone with a computer who is using a dozen or so satellites, telling them where they are in relationship to the project plan.

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Editorial: To re-engage workers in Virginia, build on G3 and FastForward successes

Launched in July 2021, G3 is a tuition assistance opportunity for students pursuing professions in early childhood education, health care, information technology, public safety and skilled trades. Virginia’s 23 community colleges work to align their individual lists of approved G3 programs with local employment opportunities.

To be eligible for G3, students must qualify for in-state financial aid and have a household income of no more than 400% of the federal poverty level. They will have earned a high school diploma or GED and carry a minimum of six credit hours at a community college.

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Virginia governor signs bills creating tuition-free community college program for low, middle-income students

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WRIC) – Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation Monday that creates the ‘Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back’ initiative or ‘G3’ program.

The program makes tuition-free community college a reality for low and middle-income students who are looking for jobs in high-demand fields.

It includes $36 million to cover tuition, fees and books, and will allow an estimated 36,000 Virginians to earn degrees.

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Free community college coming for low-income Virginia residents in select fields

Legislation to fund free community college for eligible Virginians who are seeking careers in high-demand fields was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday.

The Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back initiative, also abbreviated G3, will fully cover the costs of a two-year associates degree for middle- and low-income students getting degrees to work in certain industries, which include health care, early childhood education, information technology and computer science, public safety and manufacturing and skilled trade.

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Northam signs legislation creating tuition-free community college for low, middle-income students

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation Monday creating his signature “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative, or “G3” program, which makes tuition-free community college available to low- and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields.

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.

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Marketplace of skills: MECC adapts to workforce demands, state tuition for career programs

APPALACHIA — Mountain Empire Community College has seen five decades of meeting far Southwest Virginia’s career training needs, from mining technology to corrections and law enforcement.

With Gov. Ralph Northam and the General Assembly’s mandate for free tuition for students in career-path degree and certificate programs, MECC’s leadership sees that as just another chapter in the college’s response to regional needs.

MECC President Kristin Westover says the Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back legislative package signed into law by Northam in March fits into the institution’s career training evolution.

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Number of the week in Hampton Roads business: $0

$0 — That’s the amount of tuition low- and middle-income students will have to pay for a new community college program in Virginia.

On March 29, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation creating the “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative, or “G3” program, which includes $36 million to cover tuition, fees and books for students pursuing and education in certain high-demand fields.

Program areas include health care, information technology and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education, according to a Tidewater Community College news release. On average, students finishing these degree programs increase their wages by 60%.

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PVCC poised to help people use new tuition-free community college program

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Ralph Northam recently signed legislation creating the Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back, or G3 program, which makes tuition-free community college available to low and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields.

The initiative targets health care, information technology and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education as some of the key industries. Piedmont Virginia Community College offers programs in all five areas, and is excited to be able to help a wider part of the community rebound after COVID-19.

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J. Stephen Jones and Anne M. Kress column: G3: Creating a more robust, equitable Virginia economy

In December 2019, Gov. Ralph Northam visited Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and announced a commitment to provide Virginia students, families and businesses a lifeline.

G3 — the “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative — would provide free community college training to low- and middle-income students seeking skills in high-demand fields like health care, cybersecurity and information technology.

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Learning about the G3 Program at TCC on Coast Live

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Dr. Michelle Woodhouse joins us to discuss the G3 Program being offered at Tidewater Community College, which gives low- and middle-income students the opportunity to pursue jobs in high-demand fields tuition-free.

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WATCH NOW: Northam’s visit touts tuition-free program for low- and middle-income community college students

Gov. Ralph Northam stopped by Danville Community College on Wednesday morning to promote a tuition-free program that went into effect July 1 for community colleges across the state.

Known as the “G3 initiative” — for “get skilled, get a job and get ahead” — the program provides free tuition for students who enter high-demand fields at the state’s 23 community colleges.

The program addresses the problem of students’ enrolling in community college only to drop out due to costs.

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam promotes ‘G3’ education in Danville

DANVILLE, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam says every Virginian should have the opportunity to attend community college.

The governor was at Danville Community College Wednesday, promoting an initiative called G3 — which stands for ‘get skilled, get a job, and get ahead.’

It covers tuition and fees for students who qualify for state financial aid, allowing them to gain the skills they need for a good career.

“What we have realized is that a lot of individuals go to our community colleges, and then they don’t complete their curriculum. It’s not because of their grades, it’s because they can’t afford it,” said Gov. Northam.

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Central Virginia Community College to offer G3 scholarship grant

LYNCHBURG, Va (WSET) — A new statewide grant launched this month gives students free tuition for college. The grant is called G3, which means Get Skilled, Get a Job, Get Ahead. The G3 grant helps students pursue jobs in healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and skilled trades.

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G3 financial aid program helps community college students ‘Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back’

MIDDLETOWN — G3 — which stands for "Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back" — is a $36 million incentive program launched by Gov. Ralph Northam that will help an estimated 36,000 Virginians earn degrees. The program is built for two-year community college students seeking high demand jobs in Virginia including early childhood education, healthcare, technology, manufacturing and skilled trades and public safety.

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More people enrolling in G3, FastForward programs at community colleges

RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Community colleges across Virginia are seeing an increase in enrollment in certain programs, specifically career and technical training. According to a release, fall 2021 enrollment data shows that students in G3-eligible programs are qualifying for and getting greater financial assistance, as well as increasing access to education and resources, leading to better job placement.

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