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.

“The G3 program will connect thousands of Virginians with the skills, training, and resources they need to secure jobs in high-demand fields and support themselves and their families—all without being forced to shoulder mountains of student debt,” Northam said. “Tuition-free community college was one of the key issues I ran on during my campaign for governor, and I am thrilled to be delivering on that promise.”

The program is one of the first in the nation to provide financial assistance for students at the lowest income levels with expenses like child care, transportation and food.

Students who quality for a full federal Pell grant and enroll full-time will receive student-support incentive grants on a semester basis.

Eligibility for the G3 program is decided through the submission of financial aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

Virginia students and families can click here to schedule a virtual meeting with a FAFSA advisor. For more information about how to enroll in the G3 program, students are encouraged to reach out to their local community college.