Tomorrow Investor

Arlington Welcomes New Amazon Cloud Computing Center


In a bid to expand opportunities for tech workers in the Crystal City district of Arlington, VA, tech giant Amazon formally opened its 10,000-square foot skills training center on cloud computing on Tuesday, October 18th.

Modeled after a similar facility located in Seattle, the center features interactive exhibits where locals of all ages can learn more about cloud computing, how it works by enabling users to rent data storage and processing features online, and how it impacts the world around them. It will also offer free on-site classes on the technology for adults who want to either expand their knowledge or are seeking jobs in the tech scene.

The center will also serve as a venue for in-area networking, as well as a job market of sorts where residents can get matched with appropriate job opportunities. Career coaching, specifically connected to Amazon Web Services (AWS), will also be offered.

According to Kevin Kelly, AWS’ director for cloud career training programs, the new facility will enable people to earn certifications in the discipline that will open numerous opportunities in industries that are rapidly evolving thanks to cloud computing.

The skills training facility is open five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday.

Setting Up for New Headquarters

Amazon’s cloud computing learning site is actually a preparatory structure for its new corporate headquarters, which are currently being built nearby.

The company expects to open at least 25,000 potentially lucrative job positions for its new facility, with many of these staffed with products of Northern Virginia’s Tech Talent Investment Program. 

The program seeks to produce around 25,000 graduates in the field of computer science and related disciplines over a 20-year period, including students graduating from the new Virginia Tech graduate engineering school.

Aside from the cloud computing skills center, AWS also contributed to the STEM-centric laboratory at Wakefield High School, which includes tech stations in a range of digital disciplines, including virtual reality and robotics, to teach basic technology skills to students enrolled in the Arlington Public Schools System.

A Growing Tech Community

While AWS has been Northern Virginia for decades, it isn’t the only company that has opened up learning facilities for locals.

Aeronautics company Boeing announced in June of this year that it plans to set up a workforce development center at Virginia Tech, specifically geared towards military veterans transitioning back to civilian employment. The company is also planning to relocate its headquarters to a location within Crystal City in the near future.

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