AWS Public Sector Blog

Cloud Computing Certificate Now Available Through 19 LA Community Colleges and AWS Educate

The California Cloud Workforce Project (“CA Cloud”), a consortium of 19 LA County community colleges and their sister high schools, today announced they will offer a Cloud Computing Certificate beginning in the fall of 2018. The CA Cloud curriculum was designed collaboratively by faculty at Santa Monica College (SMC) and AWS Educate, with the support of subject matter experts from AWS and other LA-based tech companies to equip students with cloud skills needed for careers in the tech industry.

The CA Cloud curriculum will also be shared globally through AWS Educate – along with materials contributed by Miami Dade College and British Columbia Institute of Technology – so that institutions and educators around the world may follow a similar model to develop and implement cloud computing-focused programs.

“We are honored to be working with CA Cloud on their game-changing initiative. for thousands of students across the LA region,” said Ken Eisner, Global Head of AWS Educate. “We are also excited that CA Cloud is opening up opportunities for talented candidates from diverse communities to help meet the huge and growing demand for cloud professionals at AWS and our customers. With support from forward-looking educational institutions and government, collaborative models as CA Cloud will make a powerful impact and set the bar for others to emulate.”

As part of this initiative, each community college is working with at least one high school in the greater Los Angeles area, including those in economically disadvantaged communities, offering concurrent enrollment in the 15-credit certificate program and other support, such as professional development opportunities like curriculum development workshops and AWS trainings. For example, SMC collaborated with Roosevelt High School to offer dual enrollment opportunities during the 2017-18 school year. Due to overwhelming student demand, SMC hired additional faculty and expanded the program from two sections to seven. The CA Cloud consortium builds on this initial pilot, both in implementing the Cloud Computing Certificate at the regional level and by collaborating with area high schools.


Community colleges are increasingly developing creative and accessible education opportunities. For instance, Northern Virginia Community College recently worked with AWS Educate to launch an associate degree with a focus on cloud computing. These models are designed to scale – not just in terms of number of students, but also in terms of the ease of adoption for other institutions.

The consortium is supported by California’s Strong Workforce Program, a $200M+ annual investment by the state of California to develop a modern workforce. The diverse industries in the LA area are all poised to use the cloud to support the next wave of innovation and growth.

“The Cloud Computing Certificate embodies the kind of innovative, forward-thinking initiatives we are driving here in LA. Whether you are working in digital media, aerospace, biotech, shipping/logistics, or any of the other major industries that make their home here, the future of your business is in the cloud. And by building the next generation of cloud professionals, we are strengthening the LA area’s position as a tech hub that rivals any other region out there,” said Bill Allen, CEO of Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

As innovation continues to drive the future of technology, the demand for a highly-skilled, cloud enabled workforce remains on the rise. AWS Educate, our global initiative to train the next generation of IT professionals, provides tools for students around the world dreaming of a technology career. Students and educators can access training, content, AWS promotional credits, and micro-credentials to skill up on the cloud, and then the AWS Educate Job Board to make their internship or career dream a reality.

Learn more by visiting AWS Educate and signing up.

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the AWS Public Sector blog team writes for the government, education, and nonprofit sector around the globe. Learn more about AWS for the public sector by visiting our website (, or following us on Twitter (@AWS_gov, @AWS_edu, and @AWS_Nonprofits).