A new General Assembly is coming to the Triangle – and it’s not made up of politicians. These folks are focusing on training people to fill what it calls the “skills gap” in the ever-evolving tech world.

This General Assembly is a fast-growing workforce training startup that plans to open an operation somewhere in RTP in coming months. GA announced its N.C. expansion on Aug. 10.

In an exclusive interview, WRAL TechWire talks with Anna Lindow, the firm’s general manager for campus education and operations about why GA is coming to the Triangle plus how GA differs from competitors.

  • Why pick the Triangle for expansion?

​The greater Raleigh area has been on our list of prospects for some time, but most recently, we got a positive indicator when we launched our Web Development Immersive Remote program several months ago and saw organic demand from students who live in Raleigh​.

Introducing a physical campus will allow us to engage with these students in person and continue to expand access to General Assembly’s offerings in the region.

​According to a report from employment analytics firm Burning Glass, Raleigh’s Wake County has seen nearly 1,300 new job postings for software developers in just the past three months.

We’re excited to partner with the community of established and emerging companies in the region to address the skills gap head on.

  • By announcing a Raleigh operation, do you mean an office to service the entire Research Triangle Park region?

We mean a way to engage with the Raleigh community.​

We’re looking at space in the area where we can host events and workshops and offer space for our Web Development Immersive students to come together while working on projects.

We’re currently looking for a community manager who would be responsible for helping build out our local presence.

  • There are other competitors such as Iron Yard and Global Knowledge (based in Cary). How does General Assembly differ?

We like to emphasize 3 key things:

  1. Access
  2. Community
  3. Quality

Our education-to-employment approach is built with the end in mind, which means we are focused on students getting a return on their investment in education—that is, gaining relevant and applicable skills that can help improve their career trajectory in today’s economy. 

Our course design process involves rigorous industry research to determine the most applicable and in-demand skills. Our instructional designers work alongside subject matter experts and obtain insights from our network of over 5,000 employers to develop courses that set our students up for success upon graduation. Our career coaching offerings include in-person hiring events, educational workshops, mock interviews, and one-on-one coaching. As a result of these efforts, 99% of students find jobs in their respective fields within 6 months of starting their job search.

Another differentiator is the breadth of our offerings, which span data, design, business and​ technology in a variety of formats to meet students’ goals, whether they’re looking to level up, expand their skillsets, increase earning potential, ​or change jobs entirely. The variation in course lengths, from immersive 12-week programs to part-time courses and one-off workshops, also provide flexibility. And our community is global: we often see students move from one of our 16 regions to another and plug into their new community.

Additionally, GA’s focus on affordable and accessible education combined with our social impact programs is helping to create a diverse talent pipeline. Our Opportunity Fund is a philanthropic fellowship program that provides scholarships, hands-on education, mentorship, and career opportunities in the technology field to traditionally underrepresented groups worldwide. There’s a staggering lack of diversity in the technology industry; women, people of color, opportunity youth, and veterans represent only a fraction of the industry’s ​workforce. Opportunity Fund collaborates with nonprofits, governments, and companies to create pathways for individuals from these underserved populations into high-wage, in-demand jobs in tech, data, business, and design. To date, we’ve awarded fellowships to over 200 individuals and provided $2.3 million in scholarship funds to help empower the next generation of diverse tech talent.