Joan Matz works to interest teens in tech careers by helping to manage the development of NextUp. She has managed the IT Learning Exchange for the State of Illinois, which focused on improving tech education, work-based learning models and other resources for high school and post-secondary students. IT Learning Exchange is a partnership with school districts, post-secondary institutions, companies, workforce boards and foundations to increase the number of IT learners and workers. Prior to her work with Creating IT Futures, she helped to found a tech high school, Chicago Tech Academy, and developed IT business relationships for the school, resulting in one-on-one mentors for students, jobs and internships, curriculum advice, field trips and hackathons. The majority of her prior experience is around IT project and program management in various industry sectors.