At a time when some tech companies are undertaking job cuts and restructuring programs, often driven by a need to shift the focus of operations towards artificial intelligence (AI), others are moving forward with long-term investments and job creation.
Moreover, the organizations that are investing can have a profound impact on areas where diversification and investment are desperately needed. This has recently been demonstrated with a pledge by AWS to invest $10 billion into the state of Mississippi, representing the most significant capital investment in the state’s history.
History of Investment
Since 2010, Amazon has invested $2.3 billion — translating into a $2 billion addition to the state GDP — in building fulfillment and sorting centers, delivery stations, solar farms, a wind farm, and a Whole Foods Market in Mississippi. Amazon is now the state’s most significant corporate buyer of renewable energy. The company has also dedicated resources to STEM education and career guidance in over 70 state schools.
The new $10 billion AWS investment is set to create at least 1,000 jobs and build on the educational training already in place with further initiatives such as work-based learning programs and the supported implementation of Fiber Optic Technician and Data Center Operations training programs in local educational institutions. The primary investment by AWS takes the form of two data center complexes due to be built in Madison County.
“Since 2011, AWS has invested more than $108 billion in its infrastructure across the U.S. to support customers of all kinds, and across all industries, in their digital transformation,” said Roger Wehner, AWS director of economic development.
“Building on this, we are excited to expand our operations into Mississippi through this planned $10 billion investment, which will tap into the burgeoning tech sector across the state to create new, well-paying jobs and boost the state’s Gross Domestic Product each year.”
Other Cloud Wars Top 10 Investments
Amazon isn’t alone in its community investment efforts or in selecting states that aren’t typically associated with big tech, with a goal of realizing some of the benefits already experienced by others including California, New York, Florida, and North Carolina. Other major technology companies are branching out and making significant investments.
In August 2023, Google announced it was investing $1.7 billion in the expansion of three data centers in central Ohio, having already spent $2 billion on the project. A few months later, Microsoft announced plans to pump “billions of dollars” into expanding its data center complex in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.
Amongst the many jobs to be created through the expansion, there are other bonuses, too. Microsoft plans to invest $4.2 million in a local creek restoration project, $100,000 for county-wide water restoration, and $200,000 in education support.
As well as supporting education programs and helping to prepare people in more isolated communities ready to contribute to a workforce defined by technology, these investments give states that have been traditionally disconnected from the glamour of Silicon Valley credibility in the sector. Investing in the cutting-edge infrastructure that will support next-generation technologies makes these communities part of the vibrant, impactful tech industry, and that’s hard to put a price on.
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