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Volunteer engagement is instrumental in developing a collaborative and vibrant community. The designated leaders on the board have strategies and committees in place to accomplish the many tasks to sustain the user group, but it is with the strength and energy of the volunteers that the community will be more than just maintained. The user group will provide more than just education regarding technologies and products as well as opportunities for personal development and growth. In technology fields, users might be more focused on implementing and engineering solutions and do not have as much time to develop leadership skills. Even with technology focus there are ways to take initiative to solve problems and mentor others leading to soft skill development. The user group can provide a place to cultivate leadership skills and then be able to demonstrate them in volunteer positions or in the day-to-day work environment. Even without the management title or specific managing responsibilities everyone can be a leader and can improve leadership skills. User groups are an ideal place to advance, continue to learn, and to prepare volunteers for leadership and other roles.
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