Amazon’s new Herndon office — it’s no warehouse

aws-logoAmazon has been making a lot of noise lately about the new warehouses and shipping centers it’s opening around the country which might lead you to wonder why Gov. Bob McDonnell awarded the firm a $500,000 grant to open a facility in Fairfax. Seems like a lot of money just to get some warehouse jobs, you say?

Well, the answer is, these are anything but warehouse jobs. Amazon’s Herndon office at Fox Mill Road and Monroe Street is an outpost of Amazon Web Services, better known to the techy crowd as AWS, by some measures the largest “cloud” operation on earth. AWS, which could also stand for awesome, provides everything from simple cloud storage to extremely complex web hosting services to clients around the world, including many of the large governmental and private operations in Northern Virginia.

The Washington Business Journal today quotes an Amazon vice president as estimating that 380 of the new full-time employees at the Herndon facility will be earning an average salary of $114,000. With the average salary in Fairfax County being $76,828, that was seen as a pretty good incentive both by McDonnell and the Fairfax County Economic Development Administration (FCEDA).

Amazon also will invest $9.5 million in its facility at 12900 Worldgate Drive — $7 million in capital improvement and $2.5 million in furniture, fixtures and equipment.

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“Amazon Web Services is a perfect example of a company that can take full advantage of the highly skilled workforce and technology community that Fairfax County offers,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., FCEDA president and CEO when the deal was struck in May. â€œThe company will be able to provide its cloud-based services to a wide variety of clients. Fairfax County is proud to be home to such a world-class company.”

“We look forward to putting more than 500 Virginians to work in Fairfax County,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “We appreciate the state and local elected officials who have helped us make this exciting investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Launched in 2006, AWS (@awscloud) designs and offers IT infrastructure services to businesses and government customers in the form of cloud computing, including web hosting, application hosting, storage and backup, content delivery, and scalable database solutions. The new Herndon office will support IT engineering and services for commercial and government customers of AWS cloud services.



About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.