RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Wake Tech and global tech conglomerate Lenovo have been active partners in a number of initiatives over the years. That relationship will be branded for Wake Tech students and the public to see now at its new RTP campus.

On Wednesday, Wake Tech and Lenovo unveiled signage for the “Lenovo Grand Lobby” in the first building to open as part of the college’s latest expansion.

The dedication is in recognition of Lenovo’s support, which includes $157,000 worth of scholarships, equipment and technology.

Lenovo also has worked with Wake Tech on a job internship program, including 20 students who are currently participating, and has hired several Wake Tech graduates..

“We’re extremely grateful for this partnership, which is not only valuable, but vital – for our students and for the future of our community,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls in a statement. “Lenovo has consistently demonstrated its commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the 21st century and placing them on the path to upward economic mobility.”

Wake Tech’s RTP campus has received support from Cisco, Fidelity Investments and AT&T as well as Lenovo, according to the college. They have contributed some $500,000 in a variety of donations and contributions.

“Lenovo is fortunate to have access to the local talent pool and we look forward to furthering our collaboration with Wake Tech to develop skill sets for the future,” said Kirk Skaugen, Executive Vice President of Lenovo, and president of Lenovo Data Center Group, which is based om RTP. “The internship program has proven to be very successful, in only 2 years span we have been able to convert over 25% of the interns into full-time employees and we expect this number to increase as the program grows.”

Wake Tech’s board chair, Tom Looney, is a former long-time senior Lenovo executive.

“Technology firms know they have a major stake in training a skilled workforce,” Looney said.  “They also know there are thousands of IT jobs across the region and state right now. Lenovo’s example is a great one to follow: Companies can collaborate with Wake Tech and be assured of getting the qualified workers they need to prosper.”

The new campus opened in December. A second building where technology instruction will be the focus is scheduled to get underway this year.