General Assembly started as a small project in the heart of NYC—we set out to build a community of entrepreneurs and creators in our city’s burgeoning ecosystem. I’m in awe of the evolution we’ve seen take place—in 5 years we’ve become a global organization, now equipping tens of thousands of students with the skills they need to succeed in the new economy.
At this time of great debate around the future of higher education and workforce development, our worldwide team has succeeded in creating and scaling a model solely focused on bridging education to employment. But we are even more ambitious about our future goals: To make a visible dent in the skills gap, clearly connecting education and employment to show an ROI positive model of higher education, and build our alumni community into one of the most powerful professional networks in the world.
In 2015 alone, we will enroll over 14,000 students in our 3-month programs, and will end the year with over 25,000 alumni as part of our worldwide network. This is a tiny fraction of the individuals that we can reach. And less widely known is our effort to help larger institutions evolve to meet the changing economy—we’ve trained more than 15,000 executives and employees in person and online and we’ve collaborated with more than 5,000 companies that have helped to influence curriculum, provide real-world experiences to students, and hire our graduates.
Today we are announcing a new round of funding for General Assembly, representing over $70 million in capital from a group of leading investors. Our new investors are Advance Publications and Wellington Capital Management LLP, and our existing investors followed on with great support, including IVP, Learn Capital, Maveron, Rethink Education, WTI and more. We’re especially excited to welcome Steve Newhouse to our board. He shares our commitment to building for the long-term, and putting quality and community above all else.
We still see ourselves as being at the very start of a long journey. I spend most of my days thinking about how much more we have to do. Our tasks include making many more inroads to increase the accessibility of our programs, and expanding the reach of what our model can do when applied to different sectors of the larger economy. We also have so much latent energy and talent in our alumni base, and we see it as our duty to unlock that incredible potential. And, as the data from our recent Jobs Report with Burning Glass Technologies shows, the skills gaps that exist today are quickly shifting, and it is our responsibility to continually work with employers to keep our curriculum on the cutting edge. We at GA, all five hundred of us, whether instructors, coaches, staff, or front lines, are committed to these challenges, and to our vision for the long term.