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Gov. Northam announces initiative to graduate thousands in computer science degrees

ETTRICK, Va. -- Governor Northam announced a plan to invest in Virginia's tech talent pipeline in a meeting held at VSU Thursday.

The new 'Tech Talent Investment Program' will create 31,000 new computer science graduates over the next 20 years in Virginia -- through agreements with 11 Virginia universities.

Northam said the recent boom in tech industries has increased demand for workers. He said the program grew out of Virginia’s proposal to Amazon, which will locate its' headquarters in Northern Virginia, bringing about 25,000 new jobs to the state.

"By investing in science and technology, we’re helping people gain access to jobs of the future," said Northam. "And when we invest in creating more jobs, we’re investing in Virginians."

The program is expected to start in the fall of 2020.

Funding was provided in the Virginia budget approved earlier this year.

The 11 colleges that received funds, and the degrees over their baseline that they have committed to produce are:

  • Virginia Tech: 5,911 bachelor’s degrees, 10,324 master’s degrees
  • George Mason University: 2,277 bachelor’s degrees, 5,328 master’s degrees
  • The University of Virginia: 3,416 bachelor’s degrees
  • College of William & Mary: 930 bachelor’s degrees
  • Old Dominion University: 765 bachelor’s degrees
  • Virginia Commonwealth University: 722 bachelor’s degrees
  • James Madison University: 467 bachelor’s degrees
  • Radford University: 394 bachelor’s degrees
  • Christopher Newport University: 392 bachelor’s degrees
  • Virginia State University: 186 bachelor’s degrees
  • Norfolk State University: 126 bachelor’s degrees
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