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PLATO, AWS, and BMO Team Up to Offer Cloud Computing Training to Indigenous Students Across Canada for the First Time
  • Recruitment underway for Indigenous students across the country to take part in the AWS re/Start program being delivered by PLATO and supported by BMO
  • Innovative collaboration will provide skills development to Indigenous students in the growing cloud computing industry

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2021 /CNW/ - PLATO, Canada's only Indigenous-led and Indigenous-staffed IT services and training firm, is working with BMO Financial Group (BMO) to offer the Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start program virtually to Indigenous students across Canada. Students will embark on a 12-week cloud computing training course, followed by a six-month internship with BMO. The course will prepare students for an entry-level career opportunity with BMO.

"PLATO has created good partnerships with Indigenous communities across the country and a strong, trustworthy brand through our software tester training program; today's news is an extension of that work. The IT sector is in desperate need of more, better trained employees, and Indigenous people are ready to join the growing technology workforce. It's a great match," said PLATO founder, Keith McIntosh. "Having collaborators like AWS and BMO on board to provide the training material and career opportunities means that Indigenous students will have everything they need to build a career in a high-demand technology field."

The AWS re/Start program's mission is to help unemployed and underemployed individuals who might not otherwise have access to technical education develop the skills they need to pursue entry-level cloud roles. Each cohort of learners, supported by professional mentors and accredited trainers, completes a free, 12-week training featuring scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework in order to be ready for entry-level cloud roles, such as cloud operations, site reliability, infrastructure support, and technical adjacent business support functions.

"AWS re/Start is more than just a training program; it is a change-your-life program that helps individuals launch successful careers in the cloud. We are proud to work with PLATO and BMO to equip these individuals with the in-demand cloud skills that will help organizations accelerate their innovation with the AWS Cloud," said Tejas Vashi, global lead for AWS re/Start.

At the end of the 12-week program, students will embark on a hands-on internship at BMO, putting their new cloud skills to work. After the internship, successful students may be offered a potential entry-level career opportunity with BMO. With a long commitment to the economic self-sufficiency of Indigenous communities, BMO is dedicated to hiring Indigenous employees and supporting their career growth.

"As BMO Financial Group continues to advance the call of Truth and Reconciliation, we are proud to partner with PLATO and Amazon Web Services re/Start to progress the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, particularly in education and employment," says Victor Tung, U.S. Chief Technology & Operations Officer and Chief Information & Operations Officer, BMO Capital Markets. "This pilot partnership allows us to create meaningful career opportunities in the technology space for Indigenous communities to foster a future with zero barriers to inclusion, as we live our Purpose to Grow the Good in business and life."

Interested students can learn more and apply here:

About PLATO Testing 
PLATO Testing was founded in 2015 by Keith McIntosh, CEO of testing firm Professional Quality Assurance Ltd. PLATO is striving to build a network of 1000 Indigenous software testers across Canada. PLATO currently employs more than 50 full-time Indigenous software testers, making a positive impact for clients from coast to coast. PLATO Testing has offices on or near Indigenous communities across Canada, in Fredericton, Miramichi, Sault Ste Marie, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.


For further information: Media contact: Brit Mockler, Director of Marketing & Communications,, 506.440.2919

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