AWS and Community Outreach
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is committed to making a positive difference around the world. Whether it’s using technology to solve the world’s most pressing issues, or through our employees donating their time to support causes they care about, AWS is dedicated to building a world where every person has the opportunity to live a life of dignity on a healthy planet.
To make a positive impact, specifically in the regions where we build and operate our global infrastructure, we established a program called AWS InCommunities. AWS InCommunities launches long-term, innovative programs that will have a lasting impact in our regions around the world where we work, live, and raise our families. AWS InCommunities is obsessed with being good neighbors, and we start with the community and work backwards to represent infrastructure communities inside AWS.
How AWS InCommunities is committed to making a difference
There are four pillars that anchor the work of AWS InCommunities. All programs align to these four pillars: STEAM Education, Access, and Equity; Local Tech Upskilling, Environmental Stewardship; Employee Engagement.
To make a long-term impact in the communities where AWS builds infrastructure, the four pillars direct how we make a difference.
STEAM Education, Access, and Equity
To help create the next generation of creative thinkers and future builders in the communities where we have a physical presence, AWS InCommunities provides students and families with innovative and engaging STEAM learning opportunities and pathways. Our efforts are aimed at providing equitable STEAM education and access by welcoming learners that have long been underrepresented in STEAM and empowering them to pursue careers in STEAM.
Local Tech Upskilling
To build a vibrant pipeline of talent skilled in cloud computing, AWS invests in developing local talent in the community, because we value a workforce that represents diverse backgrounds. We’ve intentionally partnered with local education organizations to create development and upskilling programs aimed at both students and individuals re-entering the workforce to connect them with internships and careers in our data centers and across AWS. Our objective is for new professionals specialized in cloud technology to be fully prepared to enter the job market and contribute to the local economy.
AWS InCommunities fully supports AWS Sustainability goals, which focuses on achieving 100 percent renewable usage for our global AWS infrastructure footprint. To support these broader sustainability efforts, we’ve partnered with local education organizations and nonprofit groups that share our passion for a greener planet. Through our sponsorship of long-term environmental projects, we collectively work together to get to net zero and most importantly, improve the livelihoods of local communities.
AWS employees are integral to the success of AWS InCommunities programs. AWS employees are dedicated to their communities, and this is reflected in the thousands of hours of service in the places we live, work, and raise families. Our employees play a vital role in our broader community initiatives, and they have formed local community ambassador groups to regularly “take on causes” in their own backyard. Our lead ambassadors help us determine the path of community engagement in the area, and they take the lead in organizing and managing events that tie back to our four pillars.
Global Signature Programs
AWS is dedicated to inspiring future builders, especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities who reside in areas where we have a physical presence. Through our Signature Programs, we help increase thousands of students’ access to STEAM education opportunities in fun and imaginative ways. We are intentional about adding the “A” to “STEM” because we know that the arts help build future-ready students who develop into well-rounded and creative problem solvers.
Tech Week is a global initiative that inspires employees to participate in and lead tech-related community events. Options range from mapathons to identify locations for disaster relief efforts, to sessions on STEAM and cloud careers in schools, and other service activities.
AWS Family Tech Series is a program that seeks to inspire future builders and engage with their families in a fun and educational way throughout the year. Families and communities around the world are invited to discover and play with the latest tech concepts, learn from technology subject matter experts, and learn more about cloud computing, and career paths in technology.
AWS Think Big Spaces provide a place beyond the standard classroom for students to explore and cultivate an interest in STEAM and STEAM related careers. These labs encourage a hands-on approach where students think big to solve real-world problems.
Below are some examples of how we are making a positive impact around the world.
Virtual Volunteering Around the World
Volunteers are contributing their time and knowledge to helping those in need through our Virtual Volunteering initiative.
Activities include keeping people with visual challenges engaged, learning sign language to become more inclusive, creating recordings of storybooks for educational purposes, and creating artwork to inspire older adults.
2022 Skills Canada National Competition - Vancouver
AWS InCommunities and AWS Educate participated in the 2022 Skills Canada National Competition in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The trade competition gathered thousands of attendees who witnessed hundreds of students from all over Canada compete live in 38 competitions across a range of trades and technologies. AWS Educate sponsored and facilitated the Cloud Computing competition, while AWS InCommunities partnered with Recruiting, Training & Development, and Data Center leaders to host students and teachers at the AWS exhibit and Try-A-Trade booths. Attendees learned about careers at AWS Data Centers, took a tour of Data Centers via Virtual Reality simulators, and experienced Machine Learning by playing the Deep Racer arcades. This event raised the profile of Cloud Computing as a desirable industry that offers quality jobs, and inspired students to pursue engineering and technology careers.
Rejuvenating a Historic Garden – Italy
Volunteers helped restore part of the iconic Indro Montanelli Public Gardens, which had become pebble-ridden in certain parts. This was hindering the natural growth of grass and other plants. The team helped restore these areas by levelling the land, preparing the soil, and then turfing the required spots.
Renovating a School – India
AWS is sponsoring and volunteering for construction and renovation work in five government schools and work in one of the schools has been completed! The inauguration event was attended by several dignitaries, including the Minister for Education, Telangana, who thanked AWS for its support toward rural development in the state. The work done includes fully renovated premises, clean and safe toilets, a new cooking shed, and vibrant freshly-painted classrooms, which will benefit hundreds of students from neighboring villages.
Ambassador Spotlight - South Africa
Ivo grew up in a community in the small town of Mamre, on the west coast of Cape Town. His parents would try to find opportunities to make a positive difference in the community whenever they could, and this inspired Ivo to do the same. When he joined AWS and found out about InCommunities, he signed up at first chance. He’s been an AWS InCommunities Ambassador for two and a half years. Ivo’s work in the community is extensive. He has contributed to projects that focus on education, environmental care, and sustainable living, all while keeping up his work responsibilities. When asked how he makes time to volunteer, Ivo quips: “I usually throw everything up in the air and see how much I can catch!” But in truth, he follows a meticulous process that includes putting his commitments on a spreadsheet with timelines at the beginning of the week, and reviewing progress at week’s end. This helps him find time to make an impact in his community.
More ways AWS is giving back
AWS Educate is Amazon’s global initiative to provide students and educators with the resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning.
AWS GetIT is an initiative designed by AWS to encourage girls aged 12-13 to consider a career in tech, challenging long standing gender stereotypes.
AWS is committed to running our business in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
AWS Disaster Response enables organizations to access cloud services at the edge, even in the harshest conditions.
Learn more about AWS InCommunities programs around the world
"Preparing learners for the future" (People's Post, South Africa)
"Cape learners armed for the digital revolution" (TechnoAfrica, South Africa)
"America's first Think Big Space" (WJLA, Virginia, United States)
"Think Big Space empowers Hilliard students’ imaginations" (The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio, United States)
"Hilliard City Schools teams up with Amazon to create first-of-its-kind "Think Big Space""(ABC 6, Ohio, United States)
"Amazon Web Services Hosting Girls’ Tech Day at SAGE Center" (Northeast Oregon Now, Oregon, United States)
"Girls’ Tech Day in Hilliard designed to ‘inspire and empower’" (Newsbreak Ohio, Ohio, United States)