Amazon has a technical apprenticeship designed for veterans

Elizabeth Howe
August 23, 2018 - 3:02 pm

Photo courtesy of Amazonian Jordan Stead

As more and more companies adopt veteran hiring initiatives, Amazon has shown that they will go above and beyond. The company just added to the list of resources available to veterans with its Veteran Technical Apprenticeship program.

“Veterans are mission-driven, deliver results and have a bias for action,” said Joshua Tanton, one of the recent graduates of the Veteran Technical Apprenticeship. Tanton now works as a Cloud Support Associate with Amazon. “When you stick veterans into a fast-paced environment, we are going to come together to succeed as a team. We pushed each other and formed friendships that are strong to this day.”

The apprenticeship program consists of two sections — veterans first work in intensive classroom training environments before moving to on-the-job paid apprenticeships with Amazon that provide key technical skills. The first cohort graduated from the apprenticeship this past August and now work in full-time Cloud Support Associate roles at Amazon.

Photo courtesy of Amazonian Jordan Stead

“It is really exciting to watch this program grow,” said Ardine Williams, vice president of Amazon Worldwide Operations HR. “The Amazon Veteran Technical Apprenticeship started with a small cohort that graduated this month. Now there are over 150 apprentices in the U.S.”

With so many veterans struggling to transition into the civilian workforce, Amazon’s apprenticeship helps to close the gap between service members just leaving the military and the rest of their careers.

“The Veteran Technical Apprenticeship has given me the tools and knowledge I need to be marketable in today’s workforce,” Tanton said. “Before the apprenticeship, I didn’t know where to begin. I felt I would have had a very difficult time competing in today’s fast-paced tech world. Now I hold multiple IT and Amazon Web Services certifications. I feel confident that I have the skills set necessary to have a successful career.”

This apprenticeship is just the latest of Amazon’s efforts to support veterans. The company currently employs 17,500 veterans and is committed to hiring 25,000 by 2021 — a goal the company is well on its way to achieving.

“We actively seek leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action, and deliver results on behalf of our customers,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO. “These principles look very familiar to men and women who have served our country in the armed forces, and we find that their experience leading people is invaluable in our fast-paced work environment.”