Employer and Student Win Work-Based Learning Honors

RALEIGH, N.C. (November 30, 2022) – Wake Tech is pleased to announce HCLTech as its Work-Based Learning (WBL) Employer of the Year and Taylor Joostema as its WBL Student of the Year.

At Wake Tech, Work-Based Learning allows students to apply what they've learned in the classroom and work for employers in positions directly related to their fields of study.

HCLTech was selected for the award based on its commitment to and expansion of work-based learning opportunities for students. The tech company has employed Wake Tech students since January 2021, and nine Wake Tech students worked there last spring.

"HCLTech is proud and honored to be recognized as Wake Tech's WBL Employer of the Year and so very excited about Taylor Joostema's receipt of the WBL Student of the Year award," said Susan Winton, the head of Rise at HCLTech Academy. "HCLTech strives to provide opportunities for budding professionals to enter the tech sector, and it has been a privilege to partner with Wake Tech to find innovative ways to grow our talent at HCLTech and offer unique professional opportunities for the Wake County area."

The Work-Based Learning Student of the Year award is designed to recognize students who have excelled in their WBL program. Joostema worked at HCLTech while completing his Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Programming and Development. After graduation, he was hired at the tech company as a developer.

In addition to his stellar job performance, Joostema tutored new hires in programming languages, such as Java, HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. He participated in a leadership role as a scrum master, using agile principles to help team members overcome challenges and to coordinate project requirements. In addition to technical skills, Joostema practiced and fine-tuned his communication skills, helping to break down complex topics into understandable language, motivate team members and navigate conflicts.

"Workplace learning enhanced my life and learning experience by allowing me to utilize my skills and acquisitions in a professional environment," he said. "It gave me a better insight on how to apply my learning experiences towards day-to-day business solutions and further develop my career goals."

Connor Swales, an Electrical Systems Technology student, and Gavin Carter, an Automotive Systems Technology student, were also nominated for the award by their WBL faculty coordinators.

Learn more about how Work-Based Learning allows students to gain practical work experience while pursuing a degree at

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January 2024

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