Skill & Professional Development RVA
Our team created a community group for professionals in Richmond, Virginia to meet and build their technical and career skills. Our workshops are free of charge and open to all skill levels including beginners.

Summary of Results:
182 professionals joined the group (and counting!)
High return rate of members who attend meetings
Community recognized group with complimentary space courtesy of Startup Virginia

Overview
Role
Group Founder and Instructor
Team
Allison Garrett (Founder and Instructor)
Andy Page (Instructor)
Duration
Group founded February 2019

Problem
$300
The average cost to hire a resume writer to help with your resume is $300.
The demand for professionals to have basic digital skills will increase by 69% by 2030.
The average cost of a tech skill bootcamp is unaffordable for the average person.

Potential Solutions
Skill Development Training
Hard skill development training is often incredibly expensive for professionals but adding hard skills to a resume can increase your chances of getting hired.
Professional Development Training
Creating a compelling resume, portfolio, and personal brand can help to set job seekers apart from others in the competitive job search.

User Research
The Learner
  • We spent time speaking with numerous professionals in the Richmond community through one on one conversations at career fairs, group meetings, and networking events.

We discovered professionals were seeking to learn in-demand skills as well as guidance on how to create a personal brand.
The Learning Outcome
  • The learning outcome for this group was focused on professionals learning valuable information and the ability for professionals to learn more on their own after our meetings.

We discovered that the most valuable outcome was when professionals left the meetings with a tangible improvement.

Design and Development
Tool Introduction
During group meetings professionals received introductions to many
in-demand skills and tools.
Partner Projects
Professionals worked together on projects during group meetings and helped each other when they get stuck.
One on One Help
Instructors spent time giving professionals one on one help and guidance during meetings.
Surveys
Before group meetings instructors collected survey data to learn which skills and topics were most popular.
External Resources
Instructors provided group members with access to external resources to help them learn more on their own.
Guest Instructors
Group leaders invited subject matter experts to teach specific professional and technical skills.

Key Insights
25 professionals participated in our first group meeting in February 2019
Group Members Value 1:1 Help
Professionals of all ages attended our first group meeting, an introduction to User Experience Design. A few professionals really struggled to keep up with the group and really appreciated the one on one help they received from instructors.
Group Members Value Choice
During the first group meeting attendees expressed interest in determining topics of future group meetings. This was confirmed by the high amount of participation in group surveys to determine topics for future group meetings.
Group Members Value External Resources
During the first group meeting instructors provided a myriad of quality resources where group members could go to further their learning on their own. Instructors continued to provide new, valuable resources in future meetings.

Summary of Results
182 Group Members (and Counting!)
To date 182 Richmond community members have joined Skill and Professional Development RVA.
High Return Rate
Members who attended one group meeting were incredibly likely to attend another group meeting.
Community Recognization
The Startup Virginia team recognized the valuable work this group was doing and offered complimentary meeting space.