Expanding the Cloud
For over 12 years, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud service provider. As the leading cloud computing company in the U.S., AWS continues to grow its business and tech workforce. To address the demand, AWS began the site selection search to find a new corporate campus devoted to its cloud computing services.
The requirements: top talent and accessibility to major metro areas.
The Virginia Solution
Prime Talent and Location
With the demand to hire up to 1,500 employees, it was critical for AWS to locate in a place with a sustainable pipeline of tech workers.
Boasting one of the largest technology workforces in the nation, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Virginia has become a world-class center for emerging internet technology, software development, fiber optics, and advanced communications companies. Nearly one in 10 working Virginians are employed in the technology sector, and a steady pipeline of IT talent flocks to Northern Virginia annually – many of which arrive from the state’s nationally recognized higher education system. The Commonwealth is also home to the largest veteran population in the U.S. With Amazon's strong track record of hiring veterans and military spouses, AWS's further growth in Virginia could help the company meet its pledge to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021 and offer 10,000 service members, transitioning military personnel and military spouses free membership to AWS Educate to pursue cloud-related learning.
As a global brand, AWS needs to be within easy access to its dozens of domestic and international facilities. Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic location borders the nation’s capital and is within close proximity to three major international airports, which places 60% of the U.S. population within a two-hour flight, making the Commonwealth a gateway to domestic and global markets.
Many companies have chosen to expand their footprint in the Commonwealth due to its stable operating costs and competitive business climate. Virginia's ongoing support for business growth made it attractive to AWS. Located in the heart of the region, Fairfax County and Virginia offered the ideal environment for AWS’s new corporate office.
In June 2017, AWS announced plans to establish a new corporate office at One Dulles Tower in Fairfax County, creating up to 1,500 new jobs.
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the sole training provider for AWS technology apprenticeship programs on the East Coast and most of the Midwest. To date, NOVA has provided training for associate cloud consultants, cloud support associates, solutions architects, data center technicians, and network technicians prior to their on-the-job training at an AWS site.
In November 2017, AWS and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) announced a new innovative apprenticeship program – the first of its kind on the East Coast – designed to train local veterans for roles as data center technicians, system engineers, and cloud computing consultants. During the weeks of classroom training, apprentices earn a series of in-demand, highly-technical industry certifications, including: CompTIA Network+, Linux+, and the AWS Solutions Architect. Following completion, they receive paid on-the-job training for 12 months at AWS offices in Fairfax County.