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May 8, 2019

GNO, Inc., Gov. Edwards, LCTCS Announce Collaboration with Amazon Web Services

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards, in conjunction with Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), announced today a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to unlock new opportunities in cloud computing across the state of Louisiana. As part of the collaboration, each of the 12 LCTCS colleges will implement AWS Educate, AWS’s global effort to support cloud learning for students and faculty across the world.

Gov. Edwards also announced that LCTCS will collaborate with AWS Educate to create an Associate Degree in Cloud Computing. The two-year Cloud Computing degree program is built to address the growing number of tech employers throughout Louisiana and the demand for employees with cloud computing skills.

“I am so proud that Louisiana’s community and technical college system is adopting the Amazon Web Services curriculum,” said Gov. Edwards. “This means our students will be at the forefront of a degree program that is in direct response to the growing needs of tech employers throughout Louisiana. I want to thank Amazon Web Services for this exciting opportunity, Dr. Monty Sullivan and his team and GNO Inc. for recognizing the value of this program as one more tool to help prepare our students for the high-demand 21st-century jobs.”

AWS Educate is a global initiative to provide students comprehensive resources for building skills in cloud technology. With a focus on real-world, applied learning experiences, AWS Educate offers learners access to self-paced content designed to introduce cloud computing technologies that drive innovation in fields such as artificial intelligence, voice and facial recognition, gaming, medical advancements, and more. Additionally, AWS Educate provides access to the AWS Educate Job Board, a feature that allows students to search and apply for thousands of cloud jobs and internship opportunities from Amazon and other companies around the world.

Louisiana’s new associate degree program is part of a collaborative effort between AWS Educate, LCTCS, and other leading community colleges to develop academic programs (degrees and certificates) to prepare students for entry-level jobs in cloud computing. AWS Educate has already begun working with LCTCS faculty to integrate AWS content into their curriculum so that students have the opportunity to learn cloud computing with state-of-the-art AWS tools.

“By embedding the AWS Educate program to create a cloud degree program across the State of Louisiana in all LCTCS institutions, Louisiana is providing students with an on-ramp to innovation and careers in the cloud,” said Ken Eisner, Director, Worldwide Education Programs, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We applaud Governor Edwards and the Greater New Orleans economic development alliance for providing this workforce development opportunity for all of its students, from its urban centers to its rural communities.”

“Through our ‘GNOu’ model of demand-driven workforce training, we have had great success training our residents, and serving the needs of our companies,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO, GNO, Inc. “The Amazon AWS Educate program is the latest, and most global, of these programs, and the result will be a triple win: Amazon and other companies will have the employees they need to grow, students will get trained for the jobs of the future, and our LCTCS schools will have a cutting-edge, market-based curriculum.”

“As we continue to diversify Louisiana’s economy, tech jobs are making up an important growth sector,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. “Companies specializing in software, IT services, digital media, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, GIS technology and other emerging fields have partnered with higher education institutions across Louisiana to create programs that provide a pipeline of skilled workers. Starting with this two-year associate degree at LCTCS institutions, we look forward to expanding commitments with four-year degree programs across the University of Louisiana System, as well as at the Southern University and LSU systems. This represents a great opportunity to help us secure our 21st-century workforce.”

The new degree program marks an exciting first step in a much broader plan to bring cloud computing education throughout the state as the degree also seeks to bridge into high schools and four-year institutions.

“The statewide adoption of the AWS Educate curriculum and creation of the Cloud Computing degree cannot be understated,” said LCTCS President Monty Sullivan.“We are working to ensure that our students, regardless of where they are in the state have the opportunity to learn this curriculum, earn a marketable degree, and enter the growing IT workforce prepared to grow in their career.”