Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Melissa R. Colangelo, Melanie Graham, and Bhavika Sicka are doctoral students at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.


If community colleges are to remain relevant, they must be future-oriented, and responsive to demographic and labor force shifts. The Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back initiative (G3) was implemented during the 2021-22 academic year to retain economically disadvantaged students, improve community college completion, and help students graduate into productive jobs with the ultimate goal of boosting Virginia’s economy. G3 is an attempt to make postsecondary education and workforce development systems in Virginia more capable and successful in preparing Virginians for available jobs. The aim of this policy review is to examine the current details of the policy and explore its surrounding contextual influences, while also acknowledging limitations of the policy and program.

It is imperative to continue thoughtful deliberation and planning regarding strategic and evolving practices that meet current and future needs of Virginia’s community college students, as well as Virginia’s workforce and businesses. Changes must be made to address G3’s funding to ensure that this program can continue to help economically disadvantaged students and ultimately boost the Commonwealth’s economy. Changes must also be made to extend the benefits of G3 to more students and should be made available to a wider range of high-demand fields. In the coming years, more clarity on G3 will emerge and the Commonwealth will be better positioned to make data-informed decisions on the longevity of the program.



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