The Commonwealth of Virginia has long been an important place for Amazon Web Services (AWS). The state hosted the first data centers when AWS launched in 2006, and it plays a large role in bringing cloud computing to people around the globe.
AWS invested $51.9 billion in Virginia from 2011-2021, including capital and operational expenses related to AWS’s data center infrastructure in the state’s Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. In turn, that investment has generated an estimated $8.2 billion in total gross domestic product (GDP) across Virginia, supporting at least 7,340 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs on an average annual basis at local businesses throughout the Commonwealth. In January, AWS announced that it planned to invest an additional $35 billion in Virginia to establish multiple data center campuses in new locations across Virginia by 2040.
As more of the world takes advantage of cloud computing, AWS has made significant contributions to building its infrastructure in Virginia—and around the world—and will continue to invest in order to help people connect to friends and family, work remotely, shop online, experiment with new technologies, and stream movies, TV shows, music, and video games. Virginia has been crucial to those connections. Every day, approximately 70% of global internet traffic moves through data centers in Virginia. The state’s commitment to this growth has helped make it the cloud capital of the world, which has only been possible through government and industry collaboration.
Amazon employees support AWS businesses from data centers across northern Virginia, a corporate office in Fairfax County, and Amazon's second headquarters in Arlington County. In 2021, 8,710 FTE employees supported AWS businesses in Virginia in roles such as data center engineers, data center technicians, solutions architects, software engineers, business developers, and more. Additionally, 11,180 full- and part-time highly skilled workers at local businesses supported AWS construction, operations, and maintenance on-site at AWS facilities in Virginia.
Supporting Virginia communities
While AWS continues to invest in Virginia, we remain committed to strengthening the communities where we operate by supporting programs that benefit residents, families, and businesses alike. Our investments include many programs to support education, upskill the workforce, and build world-class tech talent in Virginia.
AWS works with K–12 schools across Virginia through programs like Girls’ Tech Day, Think Big Spaces, AWS Spark, and the We Build it Better program to introduce young learners to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) concepts through an interactive curriculum.
AWS InCommunities, a community outreach program that aims to have a positive impact in the areas where AWS has a presence, has opened three Think Big Spaces at local Virginia schools, providing students a place beyond the classroom to further cultivate interests in STEAM and develop awareness of various career paths. The first Think Big Space opened at River Oaks Elementary in Woodbridge, Virginia The Think Big Space is available to 2,500 elementary students from 20 nearby schools, and provides an integrated environment where the furniture, technology, and curriculum work together to support interactive hands-on learning.
Amazon has more than 30 active education and training programs in Virginia to help workers enter technology-related careers. For example, AWS re/Start, a free multiweek, cohort-based workforce development training program helps unemployed or underemployed individuals with little or no tech experience transition into cloud careers. In 2022, AWS opened an AWS Skills Center in Arlington, a space designed to bring cloud computing to life for the community and offer free cloud computing classes.
Another example, AWS and Sumitomo Electric Lightwave co-host AWS Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses in collaboration with local community colleges, including Northern Virginia Community College, Danville Community College, and Mountain Empire Community College. These free, two-day training courses provide participants with the skills to enter fiber optic installation and repair career paths.
Through The Climate Pledge, Amazon has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040—10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement, and as part of that commitment, Amazon is on path to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. This includes 18 solar farms in Virginia that, once fully operational, will provide enough energy to power 276,000 U.S. homes.
Virginia is for (data) lovers
AWS employees come together to support their local community and are encouraged to make a positive, lasting impact. In Virginia, AWS data center employees contributed nearly 3,800 hours of volunteer service in 2022.
As we increase our presence in the Commonwealth, we will continue to expand our community-focused efforts, in close collaboration with local organizations, which include local skills training initiatives for learners of all ages, youth STEAM and education programs, and environmental stewardship. We view Virginia as the birthplace of cloud computing, and it’s a place where we can positively drive community and economic impact. Our investments support jobs for people who help us bring cutting-edge services to customers all around the world—from the construction workers who build the data centers to the electricians who wire them and the maintenance teams who provide their upkeep. AWS is proud to call Virginia home.
By the numbers
- $51.9 billion: AWS's data center investment in Virginia from 2011-2021.
- $8.2 billion: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributed to Virginia by AWS investment 2011-2021.
- $334 million: Business personal property taxes paid by AWS in 2022 in connection with its data centers located in Virginia.
- 8,800 and counting: The number of AWS employees in Virginia.
- 100+: The Virginia businesses AWS relies on to support the construction and operation of its data centers. AWS’s investment directly supports jobs in these businesses, and employment in associated sectors of the Virginia economy.
- 276,000: The equivalent number of U.S. homes powered by 18 Amazon solar farms in Virginia. These solar farms are expected to generate more than 2.9 million megawatt-hours of clean energy each year.
- 123: The number of colleges and universities in Virginia that offer AWS Academy, an education program with curricula developed by AWS Training and Certification.
- 9,000+: Students who have access to AWS Think Big Spaces each academic year at Wakefield High (Arlington, Va.; Arlington County), J. Lupton Simpson Middle School (Leesburg, Va.; Loudoun County), and River Oaks Elementary School (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William County).
Learn more about our investments in northern Virginia and discover more about our impact in communities where we have data centers.