Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest $35 billion by 2040 to establish multiple datacenter campuses across Virginia, according to a press release from the Virginia Governor’s Office.
Numerous localities are under consideration, the announcement claims, adding that exact locations will be decided at a later date. “These new campuses will combine expandable capacity to position AWS for long-term growth in the Commonwealth.”
Amazon is among the largest private-sector employers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The company established its first AWS datacenters and operations facilities in 2006 and later announced its second headquarters (HQ2) in Arlington in 2018.
AWS has invested more than $35 billion in Virginia since 2006. The cloud giant employs over 3,500 full-time staffers at its regional datacenters. The latest planned investment will create at least 1,000 total new jobs across Virginia, according to the Governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin.
Virginia’s strategic importance
Virginia is a strategically important location for US technology companies such as AWS. Because the state is home to Washington DC, maintaining regional facilities is seen as a politically important step for any company doing business with the US government.
In 2013, AWS won its first cloud computing contract from the CIA. In 2020, the agency awarded AWS a multi-billion dollar Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) contract. The company also hosts much of the wider intelligence community, according to Data Center Dynamics.
Public sector business is becoming increasingly important as cloud providers like AWS brace for a slowdown in the growth of their enterprise business.
Aside from the geographically strategic advantage, State Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick gave another reason for AWS’ expansion in Virginia. “With the highest concentration of tech talent in the US, Virginia boasts one of the largest datacenter workforces in the nation.”
Roger Wehner, Director of Economic Development for AWS, confirmed Merrick’s assessment. “Virginia is a world leader in innovation and cloud computing, thanks to its investment in a robust, highly-skilled workforce and emphasis on long-term public and private partnerships”, he said.