August 25th and 26th

You've got two days to take a new highly enriched and curated Jobs Demand dataset and turn it into actionable information that will support the Governor’s goal of filling the 250,000+ open jobs in New Virginia Economy.Official Rules

Registration for the Governor's Workforce Innovation Challenge is currently at capacity.

The Challenge

It is well documented that the new jobs of the post-industrial service economy require workers with a higher degree of education and skills beyond those represented by a high school diploma.

The challenge that Virginia faces is cultivating a deeper understanding of the current and future job opportunities in this new economy and showcasing those insights in a way that can strengthen the connection between employers looking for talent, job seekers and students trying to build a career, and educators and trainers preparing talent for jobs. The innovations developed through the Governor’s Workforce Innovation Datathon will address this fundamental challenge and better position Virginia to fill its open jobs.

Burning Questions and Challenges to Consider


  1. What are the skills required of jobs? How do those skills align to available training and curricula at Virginia’s community colleges?
  2. What jobs require an academic certificate or associate degree in addition to a license or industry certification? What jobs require a high school diploma and a license or industry certification?
  3. What is the demand for degrees and credentials by level and type? How are they connected to education programs and majors?
  4. What are the real workforce needs of employers? Are those needs adequately reflected in job postings?
  5. What are the historical patterns for jobs in terms of skill requirements, educational attainment, and credentials? (basis for predictive analytics)
  6. How do we move the conversation and measurement on employability beyond wages? What are other metrics and how/why are they actionable?
  7. For all the noise on soft skills how do we validate that they are teachable rather than learned by experience?
  8. What is the best way to get training and “skill up” into a better paying position?


  1. Real-time view of the state by county (and by cc service region, and WIB areas, ideally) that shows those sectors most in demand
  2. Develop an embeddable app or api to allow a user to call a list of job postings (with drill-down) based on credentials and/or call a list/group of jobs based on job title (SOC)
  3. Application to make charts describing job openings by characteristics, with the option to choose subsets of the data.
    • E.g., Show a histogram of salary offers for jobs in Richmond (or whatever city is selected). Give option to look at just a subset of industries.
    • E.g., Show the distribution of job offers across industry in Fredericksburg. Give option to look just at entry-level jobs.
  4. Application to help employers flag openings that are not posted any longer, or add openings that haven’t been included.
  5. Application to use traffic data to connect residential addresses with job postings within an X-minute commute (with the ability to choose X; and type of commute: public transit, car, walk).
  6. Better skills alignment/job placement (eharmony for jobs) where analysis looks beyond a hire to look as a successful hire (duration, promotion, time to productivity) which would have second tier skills gap remediation app. all would need some internal employer data to improve current state of practice. "Real time' job ads are too readily accepted as good source of data when there are a lot of noise sources in it.

How it works

Up to 15 teams compete.

Solution development and first round of presentations:
August 25th and 26th

8am to 5 pm
Library of Virginia

Three to five teams will be selected to move to the next phase of the contest.

Pitching and Judging: 
September 7th

11am to 5pm
Hilton in Short Pump

First Prize

Virginia State Parks

The Virginia State Parks Prize Package includes a free two-night cabin stay at any Virginia State Park.*

Climb a mountain, learn to paddleboard, or hit the beach with friends. With 37 parks throughout the Commonwealth, adventure is always just around the corner.

* Up to three bedroom cabin, excludes Breaks Interstate Park, subject to availability

Second Prize

Segway of Richmond

Segway Tour of Richmond for the 6 members of the team

Choose from any two-hour tour of Richmond’s most beautiful and interesting sights and sounds. Guided tours complete with a how-to and safety training to ensure you experience Richmond like you never have before.

How To Enter

  1. Read the Official Rules to confirm you meet all eligibility requirements.
  2. Identify members of your team; six is the maximum number of individuals per team.
  3. “Register” to access the submission form.Due to space limitations, we are only accepting the first 15 teams that apply.
  4. Registration for the Governor's Workforce Innovation Challenge is currently at capacity. We're sorry, but we are no longer accepting registrations.

Official Rules

Supporters and Sponsors

Special Thanks to our Volunteers

Sara Dunnigan
Jay Smith
Joseph Grubbs
Brooke Bell

Kimberly McKay
Alex Scheller
Paul Casalaspi
Andreas Addison

John Thielbar
Tamara Humphrey
James Favors

Datathon 2015 - Winners!

The 2015 Datathon Challenge is a multi-tiered competition that will bring together teams of students, state employees, and professionals  from across the Commonwealth as they create new applications that improve  government. Top projects that use state data were selected during regional events held throughout Virginia and presented in September at the final Commonwealth Datathon event in Richmond.

See Last Year's Winners