MILWAUKEE (Oct. 22, 2019) – Milwaukee Area Technical
College opened the Al Hurvis/PEAK Transportation Center today with a ribbon
cutting and tour of the newly designed education center. The Al Hurvis/PEAK
Transportation Center is a hands-on automotive lab dedicated to career
awareness and training in the increasingly high-tech automotive service sector
and is the home base for MATC’s new RevUp program. The new center is designed
to offer training opportunities for students of all ages, with special programs
to help give high school and middle school students early exposure to careers
in this field.
Students, business leaders, donors and MATC representatives spoke about the impact this center will have on MATC and the Milwaukee area.
MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin said: "We are excited to see a vision come to fruition with our partner Tom Hurvis and new program supporters, so that young people can become engaged in the in-demand world of automotive careers at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus."
Among the speakers at the event were Dr. Martin; Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Tom Hurvis, chairman and co-founder of Old World Industries; and 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, representing PEAK.
Located in the T Building on MATC’s Downtown Milwaukee Campus, the new Al Hurvis/PEAK Transportation Center will be accessible to students from low-income households who do not have access to automotive programs in their high schools. The primary goal of the new center will be to help more students become aware of and trained for family-sustaining careers in the automotive field with support from MATC’s RevUp program.
MATC invested $1.4 million in creating the 7,400-square-foot auto lab, which includes seven auto repair bays, one analyzer bay and one wash/detailing bay. The center stands in repurposed space that had been an under-utilized auditorium. The college also spent $1.4 million to renovate additional adjacent classroom space.
While the college has covered the cost of the physical facility, programming support is funded by gifts from private businesses, individuals and a challenge grant from Tom Hurvis for the MATC RevUp program. The RevUp program allows the college to expand training for highly skilled technicians to fill a wide variety of jobs in the automotive service industry as well as offering high school and middle school outreach events and mentoring to raise awareness and interest in automotive careers. Funds raised through RevUp have also expanded the college’s capacity to hire success and skill coaches who work alongside program faculty to support students in their career and academic goals.
So far, donors have pledged $3.23 million to RevUp programming, the largest of which is from Tom Hurvis who gave $1.1 million in seed funding and has matched every subsequent gift and pledge dollar-for-dollar.
Hurvis explained why he chose to make such a significant donation for MATC’s RevUp program. "We couldn't think of a more deserving population than the future leaders of the Greater Milwaukee area,” he said. “My father spent many years mentoring his employees in the automotive industry. Partnering with MATC on this endeavor will help many future generations of students and young adults better themselves. I am excited about the variety of programs this new transportation center will open up for the MATC community."
In addition to the gift from Tom Hurvis in memory of his father Al Hurvis, other major donors include:
ADAMM; Amato Family Foundation; Russ Darrow Group; Heiser Automotive Group; John Force Racing; A. David Kriete and Kriete Truck Centers; Bader Philanthropies, Inc.; Julianna Ebert and Frank Daily; Ralph Evinrude Foundation, Inc.; David Hobbs Honda, Greg Hobbs; Jerome J. & Dorothy H. Holz Family Foundation; American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation; Sommer’s Automotive; Uptown Motors Inc.; Badger Bimmers Chapter, BMW CCA; Districts Mutual Insurance; Snap-on Industrial; Foundation of WI Auto and Truck Dealers Assoc.; and Wisconsin Lift Truck Corporation.
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; 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 national standard for academics and student services.