The Talent Ready Utah Center, housed in the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a new initiative to provide AWS cloud computing courses and learning resources to 5,000 students in Utah by June 2022.

In this effort, Utah will work with the AWS Academy and AWS Educate programs to prepare students for entry-level jobs in cloud computing.  AWS Academy provides higher education institutions with no-cost, ready-to-teach, cloud computing curriculum that prepares students for industry-recognized AWS Certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. Educators at participating institutions will receive virtual instructor training taught by AWS experts and access to a limited number of AWS Certification exams at no cost as they qualify to become AWS Academy accredited educators. Students can access self-paced online training courses and labs from AWS. Educators and students in this program will also receive discounts towards AWS Certification exams.

Students and educators in K-12 and higher education will also have access to AWS Educate, Amazon's global initiative to provide students with no-cost resources and support to customize or create certificate or degree programs for building skills that align to careers in cloud computing. Utah K-12 career and technical education sites may also access AWS Educate for foundational-level content focused on real-world, applied learning experiences in fields such as voice recognition, gaming, artificial intelligence, and more.

"This new education collaboration will be a great economic benefit to our state as we work together to put Utahns back to work in resilient, high tech, in-demand jobs and enable more teleworking job opportunities as well," said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. "I'm grateful to see Amazon Web Services invest in the economic future of our state and its people."

According to LinkedIn, cloud computing is the number one most in-demand hard skill for four out of the last five years and two AWS certifications appear on the top 10 list by Global Knowledge. Data from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI<https://www.economicmodeling.com/>) identified 40,657 unique job postings in Utah requiring cloud computing skills in 2019, and more than 10 percent of those jobs specifically requested AWS skills. A select number of Utahns currently hold an AWS Certification, creating a significant skills gap for local employers interested in hiring technical talent to fill open roles.

The state of Utah and AWS will collaborate with faculty to provide tools and resources to elevate the state's technical education course offerings by providing access to cloud computing curriculum for educators and students through AWS Educate and Academy. AWS will also support the Talent Ready Utah Center with training and onboarding of Utah schools as they begin integrating the AWS Academy and AWS Educate courses and content into the classroom.

"At AWS, we strongly believe in providing individuals with the tools and resources they need to pursue in-demand cloud jobs," said John Stephenson, Director of US Public Policy at AWS. "This collaboration with Talent Ready Utah will help to build the talent pipeline for local businesses needing workers with cloud skills and industry recognized cloud certifications. We are thrilled to support this statewide initiative to help Utahns discover new job opportunities and begin successful in-demand cloud careers."

To learn more about cloud training offerings at your local institution and how to enroll, please visit, https://www.talentreadyutah.com/aws/. To learn more about AWS Educate please visit here and for AWS Training and Certification, please visit here.