Amazon Web Services (AWS) started constructing data centers in Ohio almost ten years ago, and the state's continuous dedication to promoting innovation, funding the next generation of technology leaders and building a sustainable future has contributed to the development of a fantastic partnership.
The company announced that it will spend an estimated $7.8 billion by 2030 to expand its data center operations in Ohio. This will result in the creation of hundreds of direct jobs as well as thousands of indirect jobs at nearby businesses due to the building, running and upkeep of AWS facilities.
AWS has contributed $6.3 billion to Ohio since 2015, sustaining an annual average of more than 3,500 full-time equivalent jobs. With data facilities in the counties of Franklin and Licking, the AWS US East (Ohio) Region began operations in October 2016. From 2015 through 2022, AWS's investment in Ohio added $2.2 billion to the state's GDP.
Within the AWS supply chain, AWS investments have supported jobs in industries like telecommunications, software development, facility maintenance and electricity generation. and the company continues to be among the biggest employers in Ohio's private sector.
Investing in the Newest Technology Talent
The investments have had a greater impact than just sustaining jobs and providing Ohioans with financial gains. AWS has worked with local institutions and groups that support access, equity and education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM).
AWS continues to offer free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curricula through AWS Academy, enabling students to earn market-recognized AWS Certifications and in-demand careers. AWS Academy classes are provided by several colleges and universities in Ohio, such as Columbus State Community College, Miami University and the University of Cincinnati.
In central Ohio, AWS has implemented 18 Think Big Spaces that have offered 26,000 kids hands-on STEAM education experiences. AWS Girls' Tech Day, a free, half-day learning event created to encourage and empower school-age girls and young women to explore interests and careers in technology, attracted 400 fifth- through eighth-grade girls from local schools in 2022.
Additionally, AWS has contributed to the development of the Data Center Technician Training Program at Columbus State Community College. For these program participants, AWS established a $50,000 scholarship fund and has provided opportunities for professions at its central Ohio data centers.
Further, AWS continues to provide a variety of programs to assist people in obtaining on-the-job training, such as Grow Our Talent and work-based learning initiatives, which open doors to internships and other entry-level data center jobs.
More than 1,140 volunteer hours were put in by AWS data center workers in Ohio in 2022, as they supported groups like the Mid-Ohio Food Collective Food Pantry and the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio Wood Shop, as well as events like Earth Day, the Pride Parade and AWS Girls' Tech Day.
A Dedication to Environmental Sustainability
AWS remains dedicated to finding sustainable solutions in all corners. Upon completion and full operation of the 18 solar and wind farms AWS has invested in Ohio, the farms are expected to generate over 6.6 million megawatt-hours of sustainable energy annually. This amount of energy is sufficient to power approximately 620,000 U.S. homes.
Several key AWS regions, including Ohio, have been able to power data centers with at least 95% renewable energy thanks to Amazon's energy supply from its utilities and its nationwide procurement of renewable energy. As part of The Climate Pledge, Amazon pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across the company by 2040 and is working toward utilizing 100% renewable energy to power operations by 2025.
Water is a valuable resource, and AWS is committed to relevant sustainable practices. By 2030, AWS seeks to return more water to the environment and community than it uses for business operations. This is known as being “water-positive.” AWS is working to preserve and reuse water throughout its data center operations, and in the communities where it operates, it is collaborating with nonprofit and public partners to support water availability. By employing cloud technology to continuously increase water efficiency and investing in projects that bring water back to communities, AWS is already well on its way to becoming a water-positive company. This innovation is lowering water use across all facilities.
AWS takes great pride in its relationship with the Buckeye State and in ensuring that these investments have the desired social effects. AWS is confident this is just the beginning. The company continues to consider Ohio home and is dedicated to doing more for its neighbors and local communities.