AWS Public Sector Blog

Supporting veterans in STEM careers

Just over a year ago, I welcomed Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) campus in Herndon, Virginia to announce the first veteran technical cohort of the Amazon Apprenticeship Initiative. This announcement is part of our expanded partnership with the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to enable more veterans to gain cloud-based skills. That partnership offers veterans to receive in-classroom study and training at NOVA, followed by paid apprentices with AWS over several months that enable participants to get hands-on experience. This apprenticeship program is part of a broader effort by Amazon to train and hire veterans in cloud-based skills after serving our country.

Last week, the bipartisan Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act (S.153) was signed into law, which will assist veterans re-entering the workforce and encourage veterans to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We applaud the policymakers who are championing this initiative, one that at AWS we have long supported through recruiting, training, and employing veterans.

Amazon understands that many qualities that are foundational to military service align well with our culture. At AWS, we’ve developed a number of programs focused on engaging the military community, helping them gain AWS technical skills, and develop successful careers.

Our training and apprenticeship programs – in collaboration with state and federal government, veterans organizations, and educational institutions – help transitioning service members and spouses develop skills to prepare them for AWS software development, support, and data center operations roles. These technical skills can help veterans find jobs, not just at AWS, but more broadly in the field of cloud computing.

Cassandra McCray, a veteran making the transition back to work, said, “AWS Educate’s learning platform from day one was really engaging. It was the only platform that I had been on that visibly was going the extra mile between the video content, bonus materials, and fun user interface. It made tech training for a newcomer inviting. After exploring AWS Educate, I did get excited for what the cloud had to offer professionally and one of the paths I am pursuing is an Amazon Solutions Architect military apprenticeship. It was nice to see that AWS Educate had that bridge between gaining professional certifications and a direct pipeline to possible future jobs targeted just for our military members.” McCray has a degree outside of the technology field and a military background in analytics.

Learn more about available programs, training, and resources for veterans and spouses, such as:

  • AWS Educate for Veterans: AWS Educate for Veterans supports AWS training for active duty service members who are transitioning, military veterans, and spouses through our AWS Educate program, offering pathways to pursue jobs in high-demand cloud careers. Members can enjoy benefits like AWS Promotional Credits, access to the AWS Educate Job Board, and more.
  • The Amazon Apprenticeship Initiative: The Amazon Apprenticeship initiative is an upskilling program that trains military spouses and veterans for in-demand roles like cloud computing.
  • Our work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA has built cloud-based customer relationship management tools to improve communication with constituents. By using the cloud to implement emerging technology, the VA can offer veterans more individualized support at scale.

Shannon Kellogg

Shannon Kellogg

Shannon Kellogg is vice president of public policy at Amazon, where he leads the company’s public policy efforts in support of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) business in the Americas. In this role, he manages government affairs professionals in Canada, US (federal and state levels), and Latin America, and focuses on issues such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security, IT modernization, procurement policy, workforce development, and renewable energy.