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Amazon’s Teresa Carlson and John Stephenson Address the NVTC Board on January 15

The January 15 meeting of NVTC’s Board of Directors featured a presentation and discussion by Teresa Carlson, VP of Worldwide Public Sector for Amazon Web Services, and John Stephenson, Senior Manager, AWS Public Policy at Amazon.

During their presentation, which marks Amazon’s first briefing to a Northern Virginia business organization following the announcement of HQ2, Carlson and Stephenson shared background on the selection process and what made Northern Virginia an attractive location for the company.

Carlson started by highlighting Amazon’s previous investments in Virginia, which she shared was the most cost-effective region in the world for Amazon’s data centers and cloud facilities. She stated that the region’s tech talent and academic institutions were top reasons for the selection of Northern Virginia. Carlson shared how the company has already been trying to help grow the region’s talent pool through innovative programs like the first community college cloud associates degree at Northern Virginia Community College. She also provided details on Amazon’s commitment to hiring veterans and military spouses, including a new apprenticeship program to bring more veteran talent into Amazon’s workforce.

Jan 15 Board Meeting.
Teresa Carlson and John Stephenson address the NVTC Board.

Stephenson then provided more detail on the timeline for HQ2 expansion, beginning with 400 new hires in 2019 and ultimately growing to an additional 25,000 employees. He explained how Amazon will work to build a mutually beneficial ecosystem to address the talent needs of the entire region, through partnerships with local schools and state government, including the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria and George Mason University’s Institute for Digital Innovation (IDIA), and increased focus on veterans hiring. In particular, he noted Amazon’s commitment to limit hiring from the government contracting community to 10 percent. Stephenson also shared the company’s plans to collaborate with local communities on issues like transportation and affordable housing.

The meeting ended with an interactive discussion during which Board members discussed the region’s tech talent challenges and Amazon's collaboration with the business community to address shared talent needs. Other topics included how the company can encourage entrepreneurship and provide mentoring and support to students.

Amazon will participate in a public NVTC event on HQ2 in the near future.