Get Skilled. Get a Job. Give Back Initiative to Make College Possible for Qualifying Students


March 29, 2021 - Today, 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 provides $36 million each year over the next two years to make program-targeted, tuition-free community college possible for qualifying students.

Northam was joined by the Honorable Richard Saslaw, majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates; the Honorable Eileen Filler-Corn, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates; the Honorable Megan Healy, chief workforce development officer in the Governor’s Office; Dr. Glenn Dubois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System; Dr. Stephen Jones, president and CEO of INOVA Health System; Dr. Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA and Fandrea Preston, cybersecurity student at NOVA.

“This wouldn’t have happened without a tremendous amount of teamwork,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “The business community has been a large part of this as well knowing that we need to train a large workforce. This is a win-win. It’s a win for our community colleges, our businesses and for the Commonwealth.”

Further the Governor stated that, “Prior to 2019, business was growing. Virginia’s unemployment was at one of the lowest it’s ever been. And then COVID-19 hit. People lost business, and their jobs and didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Over 1.4 million Virginians filed for unemployment. So, what an opportune time this is to train and retrain individuals to get back into our workforce.”

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.”

If you have further questions about NOVA and G3, please contact Hoang Nguyen, public information officer at To re-watch the live stream provided by NOVA’s Marketing and Visual Services, please click this link:

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site,