Veterans Can Fill the Tech Skills Gap

News, Trends, and Recommendations
by Guest Columnist

By Alison DeNisco

Almost every IT leader is facing pressure from the increasingly evident technology skills gap. However, military veterans are excellent recruits for solving the problem. A new Amazon initiative to train veterans for technical roles sheds light on this untapped talent pool with important and useful skill sets.

Alison DeNisco writes, “The U.S. Department of Labor recently partnered with Amazon to create an apprenticeship program that trains veterans for technical roles at the online giant, shedding light on how other companies can access the large, untapped veteran workforce to fill tech skills gaps.

“In May 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos laid out the company’s goal of hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021, and training 10,000 more in cloud computing skills. The first cohort of a dozen apprentices under the new partnership will be trained as Amazon Web Services cloud support associates.

“‘Our hope is that with the experience we gain, the program will expand to additional technical roles and can continue to scale,’ Ardine Williams, vice president of talent acquisition for Amazon Web Services, told TechRepublic. ‘Veterans provide an attractive candidate pool for fast-paced, innovative companies like Amazon, and tech roles offer both a competitive wage and, even more important, a career path.’

“Amazon also announced a similar initiative in the U.K.

“‘We’ve found that veterans flourish at our company,’ Williams said. ‘Military service, either directly, or as a spouse, is a significant life experience that fosters focus, resiliency, collaboration, and leadership. Veterans and spouses who combine leading edge tech skills with that life experience are a strong addition to many companies.’”

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