Amazon unveils workforce development partnership for Washington high school students – KIRO 7 news Seattle

More than 2,000 high school students in Washington state will soon be able to earn some computer science certifications for free before graduation, thanks to a partnership with Amazon.

Amazon Web Services will allow Washington students to use certain corporate training programs to prepare for jobs in cloud computing, education, artificial intelligence, big data, and cybersecurity.

Washington Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck said the certifications students obtain through training programs would help open doors to employment and post-secondary education.

“Washington state suffers from both a labor shortage and a skills shortage,” Heck said.

“We miss at least 20,000 each year,” he added.

Heck says the training will be free and 2,500 students are expected to have achieved professional-level technology degrees by 2024.

“Certification as a path to employment or more education is a growing phenomenon in our country, and it is absolutely a phenomenon that we should embrace,” Heck said.

“People don’t necessarily have to have a bachelor’s degree to be part of the middle class, and skill centers do a lot in that regard,” he continued.

The certifications are the result of a new partnership between Amazon and the Secondary Education and Preparation for State Course division Office of the Superintendent of Public Education.

“Our education system plays the critical role of preparing our young people for success after high school,” Chris Reykdal, the state’s superintendent of public education, said in a press release. “Our economy and the needs of employees and employers evolve, and the K-12 system must evolve with it. I am grateful for this collaboration with AWS, which will make a difference for many of our students.

KIRO Radio’s Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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