In an announcement made at the Alberta Investment Forum during the Calgary Stampede, Amazon Web Services revealed a partnership with Momentum, a Calgary-based community organization that offers programs for people to start businesses or secure employment.
The collaboration is set to introduce a free Fibre optic fusion splicing training course in Calgary, bolstering the local economy with a new set of sought-after skills.
“Alberta’s economy is strong, and the biggest issue we face is labour shortages,” explained Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. “I’m thrilled that AWS is building on its earlier investments in Alberta and partnering with Momentum to provide training that will help fill some of the gaps employers are facing—this program will help Albertans find future-proof jobs for a digital world.”
As the world’s dependency on robust and constant data flow increases, the demand for skills in Fibre optic installation and repair is on the rise.
These lifelines of today’s digital world carry internet, TV, and telephone data. Thus, specialized skills are critical to the expansion of global data and communication networks, including 5G and data centres, and are anticipated to be among the fastest-growing job sectors in the Calgary region.
“Collaborating with AWS creates an opportunity to widen the path to careers in Calgary’s growing tech sector while also making a meaningful contribution to bridging the technical gap in the workforce,” stated Jeff Loomis, Executive Director of Momentum.
In alignment with Amazon’s goal to provide free training on cloud computing and technical skills to 29 million people by 2025, AWS initiated the Fusion Splicing Certificate Courses. Originally launched in the US in partnership with local organizations and education institutions, the program has now expanded to Canada.
“Through its range of programs, Momentum brings a wealth of expertise in helping people living with systemic barriers train for a good job,” noted Michael Punke, Vice President of Global Public Policy for Amazon Web Services.
This aligns with how “AWS believes in the power of skills training and its positive, long-term impact on our employees, customers, partners, and communities.”
The two-day course, designed to build a qualified talent pool for local and national Fibre optic installation and repair companies, will provide hands-on workshops and lectures led by Sumitomo Electric Lightwave. The curriculum includes learning real-world deployment techniques using a variety of hand tools and cutting-edge automated fusion splicing technology. The course also facilitates job placement opportunities by linking graduates with potential employers.
“AWS’s collaboration with Momentum to deliver local training for in-demand skills is recognition that Alberta is one of the fastest growing tech talent markets in North America,” added Rick Christiaanse, CEO of Invest Alberta. “This training program will help Albertans learn new skills, open new career opportunities in tech, and further build Alberta’s reputation as a tech and innovation hub with the talent that will enable companies to flourish in a digital era.”
Set to take place at Momentum on September 12 and 13, the course is offered free of charge. Registration is currently open to those interested, particularly adults with related skills who are considering a career switch to fiber optic installation and repair. No prior experience or education is required for enrollment.
This course is the second skills training initiative AWS has brought to Calgary, following an announcement of a $4 billion investment over the next 15 years. This investment includes the AWS re/Start program, a free 12-week digital skills training course aimed at preparing the workforce for entry-level roles in cloud computing.
Mount Royal University is also offering AWS re/Start to professionals transitioning from the oil and gas sector in Calgary as part of the Edge UP 2.0 program.
Invest Alberta offers tailored support to companies, investors, and major new projects, enabling businesses to start, scale, and succeed. Since 2020, the organization has facilitated $20 billion in investment, resulting in the creation of 25,000 jobs for Albertans.