Milwaukee Area Technical College receives grant to build transportation center downtown

Grant is from Al Hurvis Education Foundation
Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 28, 2017

The Milwaukee Area Technical College recently received its largest private gift in the school's history to train the next wave of automotive professionals.

MATC hopes a $3 million grant from the Al Hurvis Education Foundation will become $5 million over the next couple of years to turn a downtown campus building into a transportation center.

The project is aimed to encourage young people to enter a growing industry with a shortage of skilled workers. High school students like Zach Linden and Luke Xiong are already on board.

"When I graduate I want to actually own my own shop," Linden said.

"I want to open up a performance shop," Xiong said.

MATC wants to transform an auditorium into a state-of-the-art facility to help thousands achieve their auto-industry career goals.

"This place would actually look like a mini business for auto service,” said MATC instructor Scott Fisler.

MATC already has a one year automotive program at its Oak Creek campus, however, Fisler said graduates often lack one thing.

"We're missing a confidence level of being able to go out and be in the industry and be a success," he said.

The grant is expected to bridge the gap between education and the work force.

"This would be kind of like a finishing school,” Filser said. "We'll have our industry partners here to just rub elbows with them and mentor them."

Once the project is complete, students will perform free inspections to anyone who drops by.

"They’ll be writing the repair orders, putting the cars in the air and doing the inspections as a routine," Filser said.

The transportation center won’t just be for college students. The grant is expected to provide summer camps to get younger kids interested in the trade.

"If I figured out I was interested in the automotive industry in middle school I probably would have more knowledge than I have now," Xiong said. 

Fundraising will continue for this project over the next couple of years.


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