RESTON — Google Corp.’s pledge to invest $300 million in Virginia this year includes a big commitment to computer science education in Virginia schools through a Richmond-based advocacy organization that Gov. Glenn Youngkin hopes will bolster one of his top priorities in the stalled state budget.
Youngkin came to the tech giant’s new Virginia headquarters here on Tuesday to tout an investment that he said not only would bring new data centers, offices and jobs to the state, but also “make a statement about education.”
We have one simple aspiration, and that is to make Virginia the best place to live and work and raise a family,” he said. “Education is the key that unlocks everything.”
The organization, started by Rebecca and Chris Dovi in 2013, also helped create CodeRVA, a magnet high school for computer science education run by local school divisions in the Richmond region that Google internet guru Vinton Cerf called “incredibly successful” as a way to provide “equitable access” to education in computer sciences.
Google also said it will partner with Virginia’s 23 community colleges and five higher education centers to develop programs to award professional credentials in data analytics and other IT fields, which Youngkin said “will make sure our kids are not only college ready but career ready.”
Google, with 480 employees here [in Richmond] and in data centers in neighboring Loudoun County, has had a presence in Northern Virginia since 2005. The company said it is looking to invest in data centers in Richmond and in other parts of the state and create a network of computer science lab schools through a $250,000 grant to CodeVA, a Richmond advocacy organization for teacher development in the field.