Virginia Tech and George Mason University will each receive a $250,000 grant to hire a top researcher in cybersecurity, amid the launch of a state initiative aimed at attracting Amazon and other high-tech companies to northern Virginia.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sunday the schools are also likely to have significant roles in the new CyberX initiative, which the state initiated in the budget Gov. Ralph Northam signed Thursday.

State Del. Chris Jones (R) created the plan with Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in February as part of the budget. Jones said Friday the number of the more than 30,000 unfilled technology-related jobs will increase if Amazon chooses the Washington, D.C., region for its second headquarters.

Sands said in a statement Friday the alignment of university research with industry needs can help create economic sustainability.

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