Special delivery: Amazon donates cloud computing curriculum to Utah teachers and students

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A company named after a rainforest wants to help Utahns get more knowledgeable about the cloud, so they can weather new economic challenges.

It’s not a forecast. It’s a new partnership between Utah schools and Amazon.

With a signature and an elbow bump, Utah accepted a donated high-tech curriculum from Amazon Web Services Thursday to try to close the so-called “skills gap.”

“We have thousands of tech jobs available right now in the state, high-paying jobs that we can’t fill,” Lt. Governor Spencer Cox said. “At a time when we have the 2nd lowest unemployment in the country but it’s still 5.1%.”

So Amazon is donating their cloud-computing training program to students and instructors at all levels of Utah schools from kindergarten to college.

“Utah needs a sustainable pipeline of trained and certified students ready to enter the cloud computing workforce,” Amazon’s John Stephenson said. “With real-world experience to fill the needed jobs and to drive continued economic growth in the state of Utah.”

Dixie State University Computer Science Professor Joe Francom said he and his students have been using Amazon Web Services platforms for the past two years.

“From an instructor point of view it’s really awesome because the content is already there and it’s top-notch,” Professor Francom said. “The Academy consists of labs which are on actual Cloud infrastructure as well as lectures from professionals.”

With a price tag of zero and the potential to put thousands of Utahns into lucrative tech jobs, this might be the best Amazon transaction ever.

“I think this is really a great partnership,” Governor Gary Herbert said. “And I think we’ll set the tone for a future that’s bright and optimistic as we again establish that Utah is the best place to live, to raise families and to do business so thank you to Amazon.”

State and Amazon officials say their goal is to get 5,000 Utahns trained and certified in AWS cloud computing by the end of June 2022.


Emily Florez
Rick Aaron, has more than 24 years of experience in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer. Originally from Mississippi, Rick graduated with honors from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and began working at KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles.

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