AWS Public Sector Blog

Arizona schools enable cloud-ready workforce of the future with plan to train and certify 5000 by June 2022

Arizona school workforce announcement(1)

This week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced a statewide plan to train and certify at least 5,000 Arizona students in cloud computing by June 2022. The state’s Career and Technical Education Districts (CTED), community colleges, and universities will train students using the AWS Educate and AWS Academy programs. Arizona is the most recent state to collaborate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to transform their future workforce with cloud readiness and technical education programs.

In addition to educational institutions, the initiative brings together state agencies and nonprofits to achieve cloud education goals, including the Arizona State Office of Education, the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council, Pipeline AZ, and Arizona Business & Education Coalition (ABEC).

ABEC, a local nonprofit organization focused on enabling high-value workforce education opportunities for students in K12, directly facilitated connections between AWS and key state workforce and education leaders for the benefit of Arizona students. “At ABEC, we are committed to ensuring our public education system provides world-class offerings to the students of Arizona. This collaboration with AWS is a great example of how we seek to bring industry and education together to empower the people of Arizona,” said Dick Foreman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of ABEC.

How will it work?

Participating organizations will collaborate with AWS to roll out the AWS Academy and AWS Educate programs to teach students about AWS cloud technologies in Arizona schools. These programs provide local instructors with ready-to-teach cloud computing educational materials, tools, and labs for their classrooms. These authorized learning materials help students prepare to successfully pass industry-recognized AWS Cloud Certifications and qualify themselves for in-demand technical cloud careers.

Arizona State University and AWS are empowering students with work-based learning opportunities

Other institutions in Arizona, including Arizona State University (ASU) are also using AWS cloud technologies to inspire, educate, and provide real-world, hands-on, project-based learning opportunities for students to prepare them for future jobs.  In 2019, ASU opened their Smart City Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) for this very purpose.

The ASU CIC is focused on encouraging students to use the cloud to foster the development of ideas for smart cities. Recent solutions include working with Arizona Human Services to improve collaborations between programs serving people experiencing homelessness and working with the Arizona Wildfire and Prefix Health team to streamline access to utility and rental assistance resources.

“ASU believes in continuous innovation and improvement of the education experience. We are empowering our students to develop real-world practical skills as they prepare to enter the workforce. The collaboration with AWS and the ASU CIC facility is enabling that reality in a powerful way,” said John Rome, deputy chief information of strategic partnerships at ASU and the ASU CIC.

The ASU CIC program is designed to expose students to Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences and enable them with skills on new technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The hands-on experience, new skills, and AWS Certifications students can earn at the CIC prepares them to join the local technology workforce in Arizona. AWS works with the CIC to provide these students with internships and access to AWS Certifications.

Now more than ever, there is a critical need for skills training to open more pathways for individuals to get hired for in-demand jobs. The AWS team—composed of AWS Cloud experts, authorized instructors, workforce advisors, public policy experts, data scientists, and economists—works with state leadership and stakeholders to develop a plan for workforce transformation.

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