Baltimore's water mentoring program named a winner of AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Dec. 11, 2019 11:50 am

Baltimore’s water mentoring program named a winner of AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge

With added Amazon Web Services support, the city's Department of Public Works said it is looking to add an IT component to the YH20 program.
YH2O’s 2019 participants, photographed at a closing ceremony in November.

YH2O's 2019 participants, photographed at a closing ceremony in November.

(Photo courtesy of Baltimore DPW)

Last week at Amazon Web Servicesre:Invent 2019, Baltimore Department of Public Works (DPW) was named among the nationwide winners of the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge.

In the sustainability and equity category, the Challenge awarded DPW’s YH2O Water Mentoring Program. Launched in 2015, the program is designed to address the need for a pipeline of water industry workers. The eight-month program provides job training, shadowing, mentoring and job opportunities with DPW and beyond. It was launched with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and the Chesapeake Water Environment Association.

DPW is planning to expand the mentoring program by piloting an IT component. Toward that end, it will receive up to $10,000 in AWS promotional credits, $10,000 in unrestricted financial support and three AWS training vouchers with the win.

“The IT pilot program will build upon each phase of YH2O by providing professional development and experience for youth in minority and underserved communities throughout Baltimore to ultimately receive long-term employment,” the department said.

Youth will be trained on AWS products in areas such as cybersecurity, geospatial mapping, storage and backup — skills can be applied in the water industry to ensure that systems aren’t compromised, a DPW spokesperson said.

For its part, the City on a Cloud challenge “recognizes applicants going above and beyond to innovate for and with their constituents, using the cloud to improve lives,” AWS said.

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In all, AWS awarded 18 city governments and organizations, including the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and D.C.’s Health Benefit Exchange Authority. Check out the full list.

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