AWS in your community: Here's what's happening in northern Virginia

Written by Amazon Staff
An aerial photo of an AWS data center in Northern Virginia. Behind the data center is a horizon line with the sun rising.
An AWS data center in northern Virginia.

Reading:

AWS in your community: Here's what's happening in northern Virginia

Get the latest news on how we support small businesses, create jobs, set up sustainability initiatives, and develop educational programs near our data centers.

Recent updates

Why AWS is proud to call Virginia home

Since its launch in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been constructing and operating data centers in Virginia. The facilities are a key part of the infrastructure needed to provide cloud computing power to customers. From 2011–2021, we've invested $51.9 billion in the state—supporting local jobs, generating economic growth, providing skills training and education, and unlocking opportunities for local businesses and suppliers. In January, AWS announced that it plans to invest an additional $35 billion in Virginia to establish multiple data center campuses by 2040. We’re committed to the community and proud to call Virginia home.

A photo of an employee working in front of a server rack inside an AWS data center.
AWS Rack Decom Datatech Mariam Abidogun-Johnson removes a server at a Northern Virginia data center.
A photo of two students operating a drone at the AWS Think Big Space in Leesburg, Virginia.
Students flying a drone at the AWS Think Big Space in Leesburg, Virginia.
AWS cloud-computing skills programs.
The AWS Skills Center in Arlington brings cloud computing to life through interactive exhibits on robotics, space, games, and sports.
An image of a student group visiting a solar farm.
AWS sustainability leaders show Freedom High School students the science of solar power at Amazon’s solar farm in Fort Powhatan, Virginia.

Read more about how we work with the local community in northern Virgina.

June 7, 2023
Learn about AWS’s long-term commitment to Virginia

April 21, 2023
How AWS Think Big Spaces help kids around the world see their own far-reaching futures

February 14, 2023
Amazon teams up with Virginia high school students to inspire climate careers

December 8, 2022
Amazon doubles down on computer science education in our HQ2 community in Virginia

October 12, 2022
AWS launches 3 free training programs to build tech skills and cloud computing careers

August 29, 2022
AWS Girls’ Tech Day in Virginia (and beyond)

April 28, 2020
Amazon donates $3.9 million to expand computer science education in Virginia

AWS in the northern Virginia community

Find out more about our investments in northern Virginia and discover more about our impact in communities where we have data centers.

Share

How AWS helped an Afghan refugee rebuild his life in Northern Virginia

How Amazon Helped this Afghan Refugee Build a Life in the U.S | Amazon News

When Muhammad Fardeen and his family were forced to leave Afghanistan, they began a new life in Virginia. His talent for problem solving landed him a job at an Amazon Web Services data center that’s now paving a path for his future. Read more about Fardeen's story.

Share

AWS employees volunteer at Northern Virginia’s Hunger Resource Center

A photo of Mishtee Chatterjee, director of infrastructure operations at an AWS data center, and two other Amazon employee volunteers sorting donated food.
Mishtee Chatterjee and other AWS employee volunteers sort food for the Northern Virginia Family Service.

Our AWS employees are connected to their communities in lots of ways. For Mishtee Chatterjee, director of infrastructure operations at an AWS data center in northern Virginia, that means volunteering at the Hunger Resource Center, which distributes food to more than 400 area families a month.

Chatterjee is one of a number of AWS employees who volunteer at the hunger center, a part of the Northern Virginia Family Service. “It helps me really feel connected,” Chatterjee said about sorting donated food. “I have a family, I have two kids. They're growing up here in the community and I want to set a good example for them to be a better neighbor and to serve the community as they are growing up.”

Share

How small businesses grow alongside AWS in Northern Virginia

When a data center opens, it creates new jobs and opportunities in the surrounding areas, supporting local businesses and drawing in new residents. For example, AWS relies on more than 100 Virginia businesses to support the construction and operation of data centers. And more than 8,800 AWS employees in Virginia means more business for Jimmy Cirrito, owner of Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon, Virginia.

A photo of Jimmy Cirrito, owner of Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon, Virginia, speaking with an employee in the tavern kitchen.
Jimmy Cirrito, owner of Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern, Herndon, Virginia.
A photo of the entrance of Jimmy's Old Town Tavern in Herndon, Virginia.

“Coming from a tavern owner, the most expensive thing we have in here is an empty seat," Cirrito said. "We want to keep these bar stools and these chairs filled as often as we can. It helps to have people moving into the town or coming here to work that want to come out.”

Share

AWS-Sponsored Climate Resilience Fellowship kicks off at Amazon's HQ2

A photo of participants of the AWS sponsored Halcyon Climate Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean Fellowship at Amazon's second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

We hosted participants of the AWS sponsored Halcyon Climate Resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean Fellowship at HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia. This incredible group of visionaries is working to combat the impacts of climate change through a number of innovative technologies while utilizing the power of AWS technology along the way. This class of fellows spans an impressive array of solutions, from climate change insurance, to natural refrigeration, sustainable finance, Lithium-Ion battery re-use, and new developments in composting. We can’t wait to see how they build on these ideas in the coming year!

Share

AWS economic impact in the U.S.

A photo of a data center technician working at a desk inside a data center on a laptop device.

This new study shows the impact of AWS investment in data centers on jobs, education, local businesses, the environment and more. Here are five ways AWS data centers benefit local communities, including in northern Virginia.

Share

New Refrigerated Van Enables Northern Virginia Family Service to Provide More Food Assistance to Local Residents

As food banks and community organizations in Virginia continue to face unprecedented demand, Amazon remains committed to working with local organizations that share our commitment to food access.

Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have partnered by hosting a food distribution pop-up event to bring fresh food to residents of Elevations One Apartments in Woodbridge, Virginia. The event was made possible by NVFS’s new refrigerated van, donated by AWS, which has helped expand its mobile food pantry capacity, transporting food donations and delivering food to seniors and families in need.

A photo of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting a food distribution pop-up event.
A photo of two children playing with LEGO blocks at a  table at an AWS Community event.
A photo of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting a food distribution pop-up event.
A photo of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting a food distribution pop-up event.

Stephanie Berkowitz, president and CEO of NVFS, cites the rising costs of day-to-day living and the recent termination of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Emergency Allotment benefits as reasons why many families in the region have slipped into financial hardship. Berkowitz said NVFS has seen an increase of 25 percent in the number of families seeking food assistance. “We are thankful for the collaborative efforts of AWS in helping us increase access to food and reach more communities across Virginia,” she said.

NVFS and AWS employees have packed and distributed 250 bags of fresh fruits, vegetables, dry goods, and meats, and hosted fun activities at the pop-ups. AWS volunteers have organized and assembled food bags, supervised children’s games, and assisted with book giveaways and raffle prizes. NVFS staff and volunteers have also educated community members on resources available to help residents and families facing food insecurity in the DMV region.

Share

After 5 years, AWS Girls’ Tech Day continues to help girls dream of careers in STEAM

A photo from the 5th AWS Girls Who Tech event.

AWS Girls’ Tech Day kicked-off its global series of events this fall at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Prince William County, Virginia. This year, Girls’ Tech Day in Virginia broke attendance records, bringing together more than 600 middle school girls to inspire in them an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

A photo from the 5th AWS Girls Who Tech event.

Currently in its fifth year, the program was developed in 2018 to spotlight the need for more girls to pursue STEAM careers. It pioneered as a free, half-day learning event that combined panel discussions with trailblazing women and interactive activities to expand awareness of future career possibilities. Since then, the program has gone global, reaching nearly 14,000 girls and young women across 30 countries.

A photo from the 5th AWS Girls Who Tech event.

For this year’s event, AWS partnered with local school districts across Northern Virginia. Highlights include students piloting drones to play tic-tac-toe, coding robots to pick up and deliver packages in a simulated disaster zone, and learning about the latest cloud technologies that help first responders and humanitarian agencies during natural disasters.

“By the time these girls reach adulthood, the technologies we are familiar with today will likely have evolved dramatically,” said Diya Wynn, Senior Practice Manager for Responsible AI, AWS. “It is critical we help inspire and educate young women–as well as learners of diverse backgrounds–so they have the opportunity to participate in this evolution.”

Share

Loudoun County Public Schools showcases new AWS Think Big Space, demonstrates continued leadership in STEAM

A photo of students visiting the AWS Think Big Space in at J. Lupton Simpson Middle School in Leesburg, Virginia. There is a student in the forefront of the photo trying on virtual reality goggles, and students talking with several teachers in the background.

J. L. Simpson Middle School in Leesburg, Virginia, hosted a showcase of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) Think Big Space, to highlight the impact the space has made among students, educators, and the wider community since the space opened in December 2022.

The new AWS Think Big Space, a collaboration between AWS, Loudoun Education Foundation, and Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), is a 2,100-square-foot educational lab for students and educators to explore innovative and imaginative ideas through interactive hands-on technical education and cloud computing training. This new space, grounded in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) disciplines, is accessible to students throughout Loudoun county. It also serves as a space to upskill educators and to connect LCPS programs with the wider community.

Since the space opened, it has served more than 600 educators through professional development programs, 2,200 elementary and middle school students through STEAM curriculum, and has hosted nearly 50 local business owners to discuss local workforce needs to inform curriculum and prepare students for future tech careers.

A photo of a student learning how to fly a drone at the AWS Think Big Space at J. L. Simpson Middle School in Leesburg, Virginia.

The AWS Think Big Space is part of LCPS larger efforts to drive STEAM education. LCPS is a national leader in K-12 computer science education. It first integrated computer science curriculum across all subject areas in three local elementary schools in 2017. Since then, through a $2.4 million GO Virginia grant, LCPS education leaders helped create the Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline, focusing on teaching students computational thinking and problem solving early to prepare them for careers in technology.

Given the early success of the new space, AWS made a surprise donation of $25,000 to LCPS for additional technology and classroom equipment. In addition, it provided another $25,000 to Loudoun Education Foundation for its Innovation in Education Grant program, which provides $500 to $1500 grants to educators to help pay for supplies needed to support their innovative lesson plans. The AWS Think Big Space at J. Lupton Simpson Middle School is the third space funded by Amazon in Virginia but the first in Loudoun County.

Share
Back to Amazon