Education Grant Program

Program Objectives are reached through a Competitive Education Grant Program, Workforce Financial Aid and the Tobacco Region Loan Forgiveness Program.

The Competitive Education program funds initiatives designed to assist residents of the tobacco region in obtaining levels of education previously not promoted, or available, in the region. The program focuses on ways to increase the education and skill levels of the region’s labor pools, as a method to attract and retain employers. Objectives for this funding are to enhance workforce readiness through support for proven and/or innovative programs, and to focus on “gaps” between education supply and occupational demand with emphasis on post-secondary STEM-H and advanced manufacturing career skills.

Funding for Workforce Financial Aid is made available to Community Colleges, the Higher Education Centers in Southern and Southwest Virginia, along with New College Institute, to serve students residing in the tobacco region, based on the following priorities in order:

  • All certifications that can be completed in six (6) months or fewer
  • Identified target program applicants who can attain their degree/certificate within one (1) year
  • STEM-H and Advanced Manufacturing applicants who are working towards a degree or certificate
  • All other community college students who might obtain their degree/certificate within one (1) year
  • All other full-time, program-placed students

For students receiving New Economy Workforce Credential funding, the commission will support one-sixth of the cost of the training program and certification, (half of the one-third share the student is responsible for) with the remainder to be covered by NEWC and potentially state FANTIC funds or other sources.

Proposals for Workforce Financial Aid to serve students in the 2018-19 school year were due Thursday, April 19th. The Commission has allocated $2.5 million for this program in the current FY2018 budget.

For more information on Competitive Education and Workforce Financial Aid, including program guidelines, please click the Workforce Development tab to the right.

For more information on the Tobacco Region Loan Forgiveness program, including information on deadlines and how to apply, please visit the Tobacco Region Loan Forgiveness Program website.


Application Deadlines

2018 – 2019 Workforce Financial Aid
5/23/18 Awards

Competitive Education:
5/23/18 Awards


Other Programs

Research & Development

Special Projects

Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund

Southwest and Southside Economic Development