JTC Corporation
Features | Trade, Industry, Finance

Shaping Industry
Spaces Of The Future

Since its inception in 1968, JTC Corporation has played an important role in Singapore’s industrial development. It continues to shape the future of industry spaces through landmark projects like the Jurong Rock Caverns, CleanTech Park and Jurong Island.

As a small nation with scarce resources, Singapore must work hard to stay ahead of the curve in ensuring that her industries are well-supported with economic space and resources way into the future.

For 47 years, JTC has been transforming Singapore’s economic spaces in tandem with the nation’s rapid evolution into a first-world economy. It continues to forge ahead in catalysing the growth of industries and enterprises through its visionary, innovative and future-ready developments.

Two JTC scholars—Choo Li Jie and Sheryl Ho—have seen up-close JTC’s strong work and professional ethos. They have been the beneficiaries of the organisation’s nurturing and guidance, and given opportunities to pursue dynamic careers while contributing to Singapore’s economic development.

Spearheading development

Li Jie was drawn to JTC because of its key role in developing key infrastructure for Singapore’s businesses and industries to flourish. As an integral contributor to Singapore’s economic growth since the early days of independence, JTC has spearheaded many innovative projects that broke away from convention – but also proved to be visionary and pragmatic in addressing the challenges faced by land-scarce Singapore.

She likens JTC’s meticulous efforts of bolstering Singapore’s industries to the stacking of LEGO blocks, saying, “The cumulative result of even the smallest action or idea can translate into tangible outcomes with a very real and positive impact on the industry. For instance, JTC has already pioneered innovative spaces like the Jurong Rock Caverns, Southeast Asia’s first commercial underground storage facility for liquid hydrocarbons.”

Choo Li Jie
JTC Undergraduate Scholar

Designation: Assistant Manager, Land Planning Division

Studied: Master of Science in City Design and Social
Science, London School of Economics &
Political Science, UK

Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning,
Design and Management,
University College London, UK

"...the satisfaction derived from formulating a rigorously thought-out policy that bears fruit is very rewarding!"

On Sheryl’s end, she wanted a career that would allow her to make a direct and meaningful contribution to Singapore while offering opportunities to implement ideas that would help develop the Singapore economy. She recalls, “JTC offers me the chance to be involved in meaningful work that develops and challenges me.

“Furthermore, I am also given the chance to apply my knowledge in chemical engineering to a local context and help shape Singapore’s economic and industrial landscape.”

Always one step ahead

Sheryl is now an Assistant Manager with JTC’s Biomedical and Chemicals Cluster. She says, “The chemicals industry is a significant contributor to Singapore’s manufacturing output, and it is vital to develop unique and specialised infrastructure solutions to meet this sector’s needs. For instance, I was involved in the development of the JTC Chemicals Hub @ Tuas View, which is a unique and innovative development that incorporates built-in safety provisions that meet the industry’s high standards as well as shared facilities that help companies to enjoy economies of scale and business synergies.

“This project is a good example of how JTC constantly works to conceptualise and develop innovative spaces to meet critical infrastructure gaps in the industry. I am really glad to be part of these efforts!”

Her compatriot Li Jie is also an Assistant Manager at JTC, albeit in a different role – she works in the Land Planning & Policy Department, where she analyses and keeps stock of Singapore’s industrial land demand and supply, and keeps an eye on both the near- and long-term outlook.

She explains, “Sustainable growth is important for land-scarce Singapore. We need to plan ahead and be very careful with our land use policies. I liaise with my colleagues and external agencies such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) to discuss and review industrial land policies.

“Even as we consider the viewpoints of multiple stakeholders, it is imperative that our policies are sound and future-proof. This can be time-consuming, but the satisfaction derived from formulating a rigorously thought-out policy that bears fruit is very rewarding!”

An enriching journey

Of course, Sheryl’s and Li Jie’s roles in helping to keep Singapore’s industrial growth on an upward trajectory is no mean feat, and JTC has given both scholars many opportunities to help them succeed in their respective roles.

While studying in the UK, Li Jie went on study trips around Europe, visiting Porto in Portugal and Barcelona in Spain. She enthuses, “It was a great chance to enjoy Europe’s public spaces, learn from the great urban designers of top cities, and envision how to make Singapore and our industrial estates even better urban spaces.

“I was also lucky to be actively involved in several projects during my internship at JTC’s Land Planning Division. I helped examine the provision of amenity spaces in Jurong Industrial Estate and was also involved in helping CleanTech Park obtain Singapore’s first Green Mark District award. I was fortunate to have excellent mentors every step of the way, during my internship and even at work today!”

Sheryl Ho Wen Jia
JTC Undergraduate Scholar

Designation: Assistant Manager,
Biomedical & Chemicals Cluster

Studied: Master of Engineering,
Chemical Engineering,
Imperial College London, UK

Sheryl clearly recalls how JTC supported her decision to embark on an internship with Shell in the Netherlands. She says, “My mentors in JTC felt it would be useful for me to gain some relevant industry experience, and they were right as the internship was an eye-opener. It also gave me valuable first-hand overseas work exposure and knowledge about the chemicals industry.

“Furthermore, I faced a steep and intensive learning curve when I first joined JTC as I had no prior background in real estate. I had companies approaching me for help in resolving their lease-management issues during my first week of work and I was expected to solve these issues quickly. Fortunately, my colleagues were there to offer guidance and really helped to speed up my learning process. The JTC Foundation Programme was also immensely helpful as it provided new hires like me with a background of the real estate industry and the multiple aspects of JTC.”

Both scholars are keen to dish out some advice to those who share their passion to make a difference. Li Jie says, “Seize every chance to broaden your horizons and accumulate new experiences during the course of your studies. These real-world skills and new modes of thinking will definitely be your most useful takeaways!”

Sheryl agrees, while cautioning against seeing the JTC scholarship simply as a means of financing one’s education. She concludes, “A scholarship is a long-term commitment to your future career. Aspiring JTC undergraduate scholars should do their research and fully understand the nature of JTC’s work, for only then can they be sure of their decision and better equip themselves to make the most out of the scholarship.”