51 by 51: Partnerships for Affordable Degrees & Good Jobs

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51 by 51

Partnerships for Affordable Degrees & Good Jobs

Last September, Speaker Kirk Cox gave a speech outlining a vision for a stronger partnership between the Commonwealth, institutions of higher education, and the businesses that power our Commonwealth. The remarks were widely praised and led to the development of House Bill 2653, creating a framework for the creation of “Institutional Partnership Performance Agreements.”

These agreements allow colleges and universities to work with the Commonwealth and businesses on key issues like affordability, employment pathways, internships, talent development, and enrollment management. Using this framework, institutions, businesses and the Commonwealth will collaborate on innovative proposals to strengthen our economy, make degrees more affordable, and help graduates get internships and work-study experience that lead to good jobs.

House Bill 2653, introduced directly by Speaker Cox earned the support of key business leaders, college presidents, including Dr. Katherine Rowe of William & Mary, and opinion leaders across Virginia. The bill, with changes incorporated from similar legislation carried by Senator Sibohan Dunnavant, passed the General Assembly without a single dissenting vote at any point in the legislative process.

The broad support for institutional partnerships, and this legislation, demonstrates how critical these agreements are to the future of our Commonwealth. These agreements will be the lynchpin of partnerships that have the ability to transform our Commonwealth. If business, higher education, and state government work together as partners, we will achieve many more big economic development wins, and thousands more young Virginians will find great jobs without having to leave the state.

This is another one of the 51 accomplishments by the 51 members of the Republican-led House of Delegates.

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