The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE), University of Hawaiʻi System (UH) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new collaborative effort to train, upskill and certify students in cloud computing skills over the next three years to create pathways to technical jobs. This initiative will provide access to cloud computing education courses that align with certifications through high schools and higher education.
As nonprofits, large enterprises and public sector agencies increasingly rely on cloud computing technology to meet their organizational goals, skilled technical talent continues to be in high demand nationally and in Hawaiʻi. According to the labor market data company Emsi, there were over 9,600 unique job postings requiring cloud computing skills in Hawai‘i between Aug. 2021 and July 2022.
"The cloud has become the predominant method to rapidly deploy new information systems and services,” UH President David Lassner said. "We are delighted to enter into this new statewide commitment with AWS, one of the leading cloud service providers in the world, and the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, to plan how we will work together to provide real-world AWS skills and certifications to Hawaiʻi residents and students at all levels across the islands."
Through this initiative, organizations in Hawaiʻi will work with the AWS Academy program to provide educational 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 have access to instructor training. Students can also access self-paced online training courses and labs from AWS. This collaborative effort aims to establish a workforce talent pipeline from high school through higher education, with a short-term goal of training and certifying 150 learners by 2025.
“This is an exciting time as we align K-12 education and higher education with workforce development and emerging sectors in Hawai‘i — such as IT and cloud computing — to ensure our students are the top candidates for high-skill, high-wage, in-demand, and future-focused jobs,” HIDOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “We look forward to working together to strengthen our shared commitment in preparing our future leaders for Hawai‘i’s workforce needs.”
The initial AWS education programs will be piloted at ‘Aiea and Pearl City high schools and this effort is designed to help prepare students for internships, apprenticeships and pathways to additional cloud skills training.
“The future of work is being shaped by evolving technology where roles in software development, data science, cybersecurity, machine learning and more often require cloud computing skills,” said Kim Majerus, Vice President, US Education, State and Local Government at AWS. “As we try to imagine future jobs that don’t currently exist, cloud computing technology will be a driving force in creating those new exciting careers. AWS is proud to collaborate with policy, education, and government leaders in Hawai‘i to prepare learners for in-demand careers today, and help individuals build the foundational skills to pursue the jobs of tomorrow.”
HIDOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi, UH President David Lassner, and Mark Ronaldson, Sales Leader, State and Local Government at AWS made the collaboration official during a ceremonial signing at Pearl City High School.
“It gives us a step up above other students and other people going into the workforce,” said Pearl City High School senior Xander Engelman. “Giving out those certificates allows us to get those jobs and internships that we all want and need.”
“Providing workforce development opportunities for our students will allow them to enter competitive career pathways and live right here at home if they want to,” added state Sen. Bennette E. Misalucha, who has been advocating for this collaboration to provide access to AWS education programs. “I want to thank our state education leaders for their commitment to training the next generation in fields that are growing in demand like cloud computing.”