One reason Amazon started in Seattle is the wealth of talent in the region – there is something about this area that inspires vast exploration and invention. One of the reasons for this is the world-class institution at the University of Washington. We are lucky to have thousands of UW graduates inventing and pioneering in Seattle – including right here at Amazon.
We want to make sure that UW continues to educate inventors of tomorrow, and one of the best ways to do that is making sure more young people have access to high quality STEM education. Many of the next generation’s pioneers are pursuing degrees in computer science and engineering, and a degree from a world-class institution like UW is more valuable than ever. But too many qualified students are still turned away across the country because demand for spots in the best computer science programs far outstrips supply.
UW is working hard to address this gap, and we’re proud to help with a $10 million donation towards development of a new, state of the art Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) building that will double the number of graduates each year. We know that more needs to be done to develop the talented technology and business leaders of tomorrow, and we hope that this donation will help ensure that more young people across the country have the opportunity to come to UW and take advantage of one of the top CSE programs in the country.
We’re also hopeful that increasing the capacity of CS programs will help address the diversity challenge in technology. Diversity helps drive innovation and we have a particularly important challenge in tech, where the pipeline is the smallest. We’re partnering with a variety of organizations, such as Ada Academy, Girls Who Code, CoderDojo, Code.org, Rainier Scholars, and Hack the Central District, to spread high quality STEM education more broadly at all education levels. These efforts, along with our contribution today to expand the University of Washington’s capacity, is a long-term challenge that has the attention and investment of Amazon and many other companies, which makes us optimistic for the future.