Left: Xavier Lee Yeow Chung exhibited outstanding performance during his Undergraduate Internship in JTC and was awarded the Mid-Term Scholarship. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) from National University of Singapore and is currently working as a Project Manager in JTC's Building Projects Division.
Right: Wong Si Ying, is a recipient of the JTC Wong Si Ying is a recipient of the JTC Undergraduate Scholarship and has a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial & Systems Engineering) from National University of Singapore and a Master of Science (Real Estate Development) from University of Manchester. As Assistant Manager in the Food & Lifestyle Cluster at JTC, she works closely with companies and stakeholders on collaborations in the sector.
You may have seen that familiar blue logo dotting some of Singapore's industrial estates and business parks. An abstract motif with cool, fluid lines, it belongs to JTC Corporation (JTC) — a government agency established in 1968 that develops and transforms Singapore's land into smart infrastructure to support its industries.
Like many before him, Mid-Term Scholar Xavier Lee Yeow Chung's knowledge of JTC was initially limited to the blue logo. However, his passing interest soon turned into a deep curiosity when he participated in an interdiscipline design thinking feasibility study for an overhead pedestrian bridge for Jurong Innovation District, one of JTC's new estates.
“However, the tipping point came when I had a conversation with a university professor on JTC and he shared with much gusto about the innovative works that JTC is doing, as well as its partnerships with universities to promote research and development,” Xavier recalled. “This conversation was important as it deepened my understanding of JTC's work and its vision to building smart, collaborative and innovative spaces.”
Putting Teamwork First
Today, the 27-year-old is thriving in JTC's fast-paced, dynamic work environment. As a Project Manager with JTC's Building Projects Division, he is the link between the developer and the project team, and works closely with various contractors and consultants to achieve the project's objective. In Xavier's case, he also oversees schedules,quality control and safety assurance in the projects under his charge.
No two days are the same, and Xavier is always looking forward to the new challenges each day brings. Teamwork is vital to his work at JTC — he described with pride how his colleagues are always willing to help each other out because of the camaraderie they all share.
Working towards a common goal characterises the work at JTC, and this was most evident when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the organisation was tasked to build new temporary dormitories within a short span of time for migrant workers to move in. While Xavier did not personally manage the project alone, he recalled rushing against the clock with his teammates and other stakeholders to deliver the living spaces for the workers.
“In my interactions with officers from various agencies, I saw their dedication and effort in fighting Covid through their own capacity. It made me proud to be a Singaporean,” he smiled at the memory.
Powering Innovation For Tomorrow
The ethos of innovation is one of JTC's guiding principles that emboldens the 1000-strong workforce to think out of the box.
“We are always encouraged to seek out better ways to do things,” Xavier emphasised. “Recently, I encountered a new technology that can improve our floor inspection process and provide more accurate inspection reports of our floors. Intrigued by this, I proposed this solution to my bosses and was given their full support to trial the technology and implement it if suitable.”
Xavier's bosses are also supportive of his passions in the field of robotics and they have assigned him to a team that explores the use of SPOT legged robot in the construction sector together with GovTech, an agency driving Singapore's Smart Nation endeavours, and Boston Dynamics, a leading engineering and robotics company based in the United States.
These opportunities allow employees to grow their skillsets. Xavier himself experienced a whirlwind career of two internships with JTC before signing on as a Mid-Term Scholar, and experienced different facets of the organisation during each stint. From studying the engineering marvel that is the Jurong Rock Caverns (JRC), to working in reclamation or marine structures that help Singapore meet its green ambitions, he has also witnessed firsthand how JTC is contributing to the country's attractiveness for investments.
Xavier elaborated: “JTC is the lead agency in supporting Singapore's industrial future. Upcoming estates such as Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District will help Singapore meet the demands of an ever-changing economy. More than building industries, we're playing a key role in securing Singapore's future!”
Making Every Connection Count
25-year-old Wong Si Ying is an Assistant Manager in the Food & Lifestyle Cluster at JTC. Her duties are varied, but one thing is certain: they are all about making a difference.
For example, she works closely with companies specialising in timber wood and event logistics. When construction work and large-scale events were suspended due to the Circuit Breaker, these companies were inevitably affected too. To help tide them through these unprecedented times, Si Ying took on the responsibility of guiding the companies to the relevant resources, such as government assistance grants and loans, so that they could stay resilient and adapt to the ever-evolving economic situation.
Si Ying is also involved in JTC's Industry Connect, an initiative that aims to accelerate the transformation of businesses through collaborations and partnerships. This is essential for companies that want to stay ahead during the era of Industry 4.0 — an industrial revolution that changes traditional notions of manufacturing through automation and technology.
“Industry Connect was introduced in 2020 to enable JTC's customers to tap on our wide network of over 14,000 industry players,” she offered. “Through these meaningful partnerships, we hope to foster a community that will propel Singapore's industries forward.”
Driving Change Through Knowledge
Nurturing a new generation of innovators is an important aspect of Industry Connect as it ensures the manufacturing sector is always invigorated with fresh ideas. To attract more young talents to join the industry, Si Ying is part of a team that curates educational outreach programmes that range from company visits to industry days for students, project opportunities to internships. Because of this, she liaises closely with other government agencies such as SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG), and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).
Si Ying also collaborates with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to encourage upskilling and retraining so that older employees in the sector can stay relevant to the changing manufacturing landscape. It is her proudest achievement, and with good reason: “I gained more knowledge about the variety of resources available for companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, through my engagement with many different stakeholders.”
The Simple Things in Life
Xavier enjoys a good cup of Kopi O Kosong, but his friends sometimes wonder how he can stand such a bitter, thick drink.
“Be it capabilities upgrade, automation, business transformation or manpower upskilling, as long as companies are keen to improve their businesses, there could be grants or programmes to help them,” she observed.
Similarly, there is a wealth of opportunities to be explored at JTC, where a dynamic work environment awaits. Si Ying added: “JTC is supportive of scholars pursuing their interests, given the wide range of supported courses of study and additional programmes (e.g. Summer school, Student Exchange Programmes), so long as they are relevant and useful.”
More importantly, doing one's part to drive Singapore's success is also meaningful work. “If you are looking to contribute to Singapore's industrial landscape and have a passion for the real estate industry, JTC is the right choice for you,” she said.