MILWAUKEE (July 21, 2020) -- The Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation, Inc., with the support of MATC’s FCC Spectrum Trust, the United Health Foundation and individual donors, has established a new Healthcare Heroes Fund. Funds cover the cost of exams and fees needed for healthcare graduates to obtain a license to practice. In most years, graduates have been responsible for paying their own licensure fees, which can be as much as $1,490. To date, 275 Spring 2020 MATC healthcare graduates received scholarships to fund licensing exam fees totaling $102,595.
United Health Foundation is the largest private donor to date, underwriting $19,000 to help cover professional licensing exams for Spring 2020 graduates of the registered nursing and licensed practical nurse programs. This donation was provided as part of a three-year $2.3 million project to expand the capacity of MATC’s nursing program in response to persistent labor shortages in the field.
“The world is counting on nurses to help it get through the pandemic,” said Ellen Sexton, CEO, UnitedHeathcare Community Plan of Wisconsin. Ellen Sexton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin. “We know this is a difficult time financially for so many people. We wanted to help these new MATC nursing graduates who want to get to work quickly. We are removing barriers for them to live out their dreams of helping others so they can get established in their careers now.”
“We are so grateful to the United Health Foundation and local donors for responding to the call to support the Milwaukee areas’ newest healthcare heroes,” said Laura Bray, executive director for the MATC Foundation. “Each year, hundreds of MATC students graduate to serve as nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and in other critical health professions. The costs of board exams and licensing fees can be additional barriers our students face.”
Funds were distributed in the form of scholarships to students by the MATC Foundation, Inc., the nonprofit organization that supports MATC program innovation, student scholarships and emergency grants. The MATC Foundation is seeking contributions to offer similar support to December graduates.
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Nearly 35,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 150 academic programs; and transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 35 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The MATC FCC Spectrum Trust was established when MATC’s District Board, as license holder for Milwaukee PBS, made the strategic decision to participate in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadcast incentive auction. MATC received one-time proceeds of $84 million as a result of its voluntary participation in the auction, created to free up bandwidth to accommodate the growing capacity needs for wireless technology. Annual earnings proceeds are being utilized to advance MATC’s educational mission of transforming lives, industry and community.