Northrop Grumman Celebrates First Class of STEM-Focused ADVANCE Program

Shawn Purvis, Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is celebrating the enrollment of the first class of a special STEM-focused program between George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College.

The ADVANCE program seeks to improve graduation rates for community college students and collaborates with area employers to address workforce needs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

“Our partnership will prepare students for the technical workforce,” said Shawn Purvis, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman’s Enterprise Services sector. “In addition to supporting students in their pursuit of technical degrees, we also recognize that internships and job opportunities are essential to this program’s success.”

Purvis serves on GMU’s board of visitors and is a member of the schools’ Executive Leadership Council.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation provided a donation to establish a scholarship fund for students in the ADVANCE program pursuing STEM degrees.

The ADVANCE program is the latest partnership between Northrop Grumman and George Mason University aiming to address the needs of the STEM workforce. For example, the company recently worked with the school to launch an innovative cybersecurity degree program.

Mike Papay, Northrop Grumman’s vice president and chief information security officer, was instrumental in helping establish this program. Papay is also the chair of the university’s Volgenau School of Engineering Advisory Board.

“We recognize the growing need for a skilled workforce, trained and equipped to maintain our nation’s technological edge,” Purvis said. “Northrop Grumman believes business has a responsibility to be a part of these partnerships.”

Related: 6 Northrop Grumman Employees Honored with Awards from Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

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