NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Three Hampton Roads organizations are teaming up to help improve the community.

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding, BayPort Credit Union and Ferguson are partnering to offer a $500,000 dollar grant to one area non-profit over the course of three years.

This year’s theme for the ACT Grant, or the “Accelerating Change Together” Grant is education and workforce development.

The organizations say they want to invest this money back in the community to make Hampton Roads a better place.

“We wanted to not only collaborate together to fund organizations, but also be a representation of what we are trying to establish here in Hampton Roads,” said Newport News Shipbuilding Manager of Community Relations, Gary Artybridge.

The organizations hope the ACT Grant will bring forth new programs that will provide opportunities for community members.

“We hope it inspires non-profits to work together, collaboratively like we are doing with Newport News Shipbuilding and Ferguson to come together and build programs that will strengthen our community,” said Bayport President and CEO Jim Mears.

Mears says education and workforce development are the backbone of a strong community and he believes there could even be room for collaboration among organizations.

“It could be more than one non-profit that works together to come up with a program between the two of them,” said Mears.

The ACT Grant is a continuation of the One Community Transformation Grant.

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding previously gave money to Fort Monroe and Newport News Public Schools through that grant.

Fort Monroe was the first recipient and Artybridge says that money started an important conversation.

“They opened up their center for freedom to kind of open up dialogue about the heritage and culture here in the Hampton Roads area,” said Artybridge.

Artybridge hopes this next investment will be a win for education and will help develop a skilled workforce in Hampton Roads.

“We want to be able to prepare our citizens for the workforce, whether it’s through k-12, community colleges, or any other kind of training programs,” said Artybridge. “This is where our employees, you know, work, they play, they grow their families here so it’s a big investment into our community and to our people.”

Applications are due by October 31.

There are some restrictions on which organizations can apply. Those are listed on the application’s website.