A poster of the county's Amazon Web Service Training program.

In line with the Franklin County commissioners’ aim to reduce poverty in the county, the new Amazon Web Services training program is showing success in moving low-income residents into more sustainable careers in information technology.

The training pipeline, which was started by the National Center for Urban Solutions (NCUS) – an organization focused on providing avenues for self-sufficiency for people affected by poverty – was established in October 2020. As planned, the program has helped low-income residents get opportunities in the higher-wage IT field.  

Commissioner Kevin Boyce said this program, like Roads2Work, Building Futures and other pre-apprenticeship initiatives under the “Rise Together Blueprint,” will provide residents with more sustainable career paths in a growing industry.

“We’ve really been thinking over the last two years about how we can help people sustain a lifestyle of upward trajectory,” Boyce said. “And you do that by providing them with training and skills for a career.”

Perry Gregory, senior vice president of NCUS, said the program also will help close the wealth gap across the county and state. 

“There’s such a big gap in the industry when it comes to African Americans participating in technology careers, not only on the employment side but the disengagement that happens in the Black community,” he said.