Not only are the Virginia Community Colleges not an expense to the Commonwealth of Virginia, they are a solution to one of our most continuing challenges, that of educating our workforce to fill the professional jobs that are understaffed but necessary for the function of our society. The return on the investment more than covers the cost. In a brief time that I taught at New River Community College, I met and taught many students, most of them first generation students, who were moving from minimum wage jobs or no job at all, to professional positions that allowed them to gain the qualify of life known as “middle class” and many to continue their education to obtain a BS degree.

My son-in-law moved from a foundry job to a professional position in IT at a leading manufacturer in the New River Valley after he completed his associate degree at NRCC and a BS at Radford University. He was a first-generation student, working a job and supporting a family. Although he will be paying for his education for the next 30 years, he was able to purchase a home last year. In 2021, his son will enter college. Gone are the days when a student could earn enough in summer employment to meet the expenses of attending college.

The G3 program may offer my grandson the opportunity to Get a Skill, Get a Job, and Give Back. I strongly encourage our legislature to approve and appropriate funds for this program. Give this generation an opportunity to contribute to the economic success of our community, our commonwealth and our nation.

SANDRA T. DANIELS

HIWASSEE 

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