Amazon Web Services to Teach Cloud Computing at Arlington Skills Center


Amazon’s cloud-computing arm will open a training center in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood this month, the company said, as part of its effort to engage with area residents and expand the workforce. local technology workforce as it builds a new headquarters nearby.

The 10,000-square-foot “skills center” will include interactive exhibits on the role of cloud computing as well as classrooms where adults can take free in-person classes on the ubiquitous technology, which allows customers to rent capacity storage and processing of data on the web.

The installation, which is modeled on a similar space in Seattle, will also host networking events and provide local residents with job opportunities and career coaching related to Amazon Web Services, the tech giant’s cloud computing business. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

“Whether they don’t know what the cloud is yet or have some experience with IP, many different types of learners will have the opportunity to learn and develop cloud skills,” said Kevin Kelly, Director of Cloud Career at AWS. training programs.

As Amazon and other tech giants expand their presence in Northern Virginia, economic development experts have stressed that these companies must focus on building a diverse tech pipeline — or risk exacerbating inequality. in the DC area labor market.

Amazon will bring more than 25,000 workers to the region when it opens its new headquarters. Experts are looking at how this could impact gentrification and jobs. (Video: Hadley Green/The Washington Post, Photo: Jackie Lay/The Washington Post)

Amazon is poised to create at least 25,000 high-paying jobs at its new offices in Arlington. (The company is expected to receive up to $573 million in grants from local and state governments if it meets hiring and occupancy goals, or up to $773 million if it exceeds them.)

The company was in part drawn to Northern Virginia by the state’s Technology Talent Investment Program, which has set a goal of producing an additional 25,000 graduates in computer science and related fields over two decades. including at Virginia Tech’s new engineering campus in Alexandria.

As other companies moved in nearby, they also announced their own technology training efforts. Boeing, which is moving its headquarters to Crystal City, announced in June that it was working to create a workforce development center for military veterans on the Virginia Tech campus.

Hub for military veterans coming to Virginia Tech’s new Alexandria campus

AWS is also helping fund a STEM-focused tech lab which opened in August at Wakefield High School, about five miles from Amazon’s second headquarters. This facility — proposed by Wakefield teacher Wendy Maitland — will include technology stations in areas such as virtual reality, 3D printing and robotics to teach technology skills to Arlington Public School students.

The Arlington Skills Center, which opens to the public on Tuesday, will be operational five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday. Kelly said the facility will also offer resources to help gain certification in cloud computing basics — a useful tool for workers in industries that are increasingly shaped by cloud computing.

“The cloud offers many job opportunities for people who want to upskill, retrain, or upskill in the cloud,” he said. “And even if they’re currently employed, the cloud is increasingly part of a lot of positions.”

AWS has maintained a strong presence in Northern Virginia for decades, tapping into the region’s resources — including plenty of empty land, business-friendly politics, and robust power and broadband connections — to build, equip, and manage. more than 50 data centers that support its cloud computing business.

This network has helped make Amazon the dominant force in the cloud computing industry: AWS held just under 39% of the global infrastructure cloud services market in 2021, according to market research company Gartnernearly double that of its nearest rival.

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