Why is Amazon opening a live cloud skills center to train workers for other companies

The space is designed to introduce visitors to the practical applications of cloud computing — an increasingly common setup in which companies’ engineering operations are run in data centers managed by Amazon or other cloud companies, rather than in costly on-premises servers. AWS hopes the center will interest some visitors in terms of career possibilities in the industry.
The Skills Center, located on the campus of Amazon’s corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and opened to the public on November 22, is the company’s first of its kind. It is part of Greater commitment to train 29 million people globally in cloud computing by 2025, which AWS did last year.
This is also one of the first big announcements new AWS CEO Adam Selipsky has been in the works since taking over from Andy Jassy, ​​who was named Amazon CEO when Jeff Bezos left the post in July.

The Skills Center “will become a free, accessible space for anyone who wants to learn more about cloud computing, what it is, what the applications are… everything illustrates the breadth of things.” really of the cloud and, importantly, going to get multi-skill training here,” Selipsky told CNN Business in an exclusive interview ahead of the center’s opening day.

“There is a huge demand for digital skills and cloud skills in particular, and this is part of a very broad effort,” he said. “We’re going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring that training to tens of millions of people around the world.”

Although the company declined to disclose the exact amount, it is a big investment in free training for the people who will most likely become employees of other companies. But it is very important to AWS business because significant talent gap that risks hindering the adoption of cloud technology by potential customers.

“I talk to the executives of companies all the time,” says Maureen Lonergan, vice president of AWS Training and Certification. “So we’re not only training newcomers to the cloud, but also working with customers to transform their traditional IT staff into cloud-savvy individuals.”

Talent gap appears when the demand for cloud computing increase during the pandemic. But AWS, the longtime leader of the cloud industry, is facing fierce competition from competitors like Microsoft (MSFT) Azure and Google (GOOGGOOGLE) Cloud, which Selipsky will have to deal with as the new leader of the unit.
In spite of Amazon (AMZN) Best known for e-commerce, its cloud unit has long been the largest producer of coins. In the most recent quarter, AWS contributes nearly 56% of the company’s total net income and currently has about $64 billion in revenue.

Selipsky, who started at AWS in the early days of the division and spent 11 years with the company before leaving to run data visualization company Tableau for five years. “I know that sounds like a big statement but if you think about it, when was the last time you rented a DVD or incurred a late fee? Netflix changed all that with streaming and It happens on AWS… No matter what industry you look at, no matter what application you look at, it’s increasingly not running in the data centers that companies build and operate these days. run, invest capital, and stress, it works through a place like AWS.”

Longtime former AWS executive Adam Selipsky has returned to run the division after five years as CEO of Tableau.

At the Skills Center, Amazon plans to invite anyone from the Seattle community — students, unemployed workers, or others looking for a career change — to better understand what cloud computing is all about. and why it matters; For example, it helps to play mobile games in real time over the internet. From there, guests interested in career opportunities in the field will have access to free cloud and technology fundamentals courses at the center and can be redirected to training resources. other of AWS. The company hopes tens of thousands of people will come to the center to explore or take classes each year.

As part of Thursday’s announcement, the company also said it would add about 60 free digital cloud training and certification courses to It is also expanding access to Re/Start, a free 12-week training course that prepares people for entry-level jobs in cloud computing, from 25 cities in 12 countries in 2020 to more than 95 cities in 38 countries by the end of 2021. The company expects to open more Skills Centers around the world starting next year, according to Lonergan.

The company also hopes to be able to reach people who have difficulty accessing roles in the technology sector. The Skills Center and training programs are free and targeted at the tech novice. The company also plans to partner with local workforce development agencies in Seattle to bring people from a variety of backgrounds onto the facility. That effort could help increase diversity in the cloud-computing sector, which, like the larger tech world, still favors whites and men. Amazon’s global workforce consists of nearly 69% male and 47% white employees in 2020, according to the most recent figures. workforce data report.

“Our customers are so diverse and who they are, their use cases and industries, and the companies they operate in are so diverse, it’s hard to imagine that we can truly deliver.” give them what they need from us if we are not equally diverse,” said Selipsky.


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