Saturday – October 21, 2017


Wisconsin's Vocational Education Act, passed in 1911, launched a statewide network of continuation schools. The Milwaukee Continuation School - what would later become Milwaukee Area Technical College - opened in 1912 and began educating local residents for a better life. That important work continues today.

MATC will celebrate 100 years of innovative education September 2011 - September 2012 with a series of Centennial activities.

Visit this page often to learn about MATC's history and many contributions to the greater Milwaukee community, its residents and its businesses.



  • The MATC Retirees Association (MATCRA) hosted the Centennial Kickoff Dinner on Saturday, September 24, 2011.

  • Sam Williams, Boys and Girls Clubs; Dr. Michael L. Burke, MATC president; and Dr. Robert Davis, MATC Foundation Board president at the MATC Centennial Luncheon on November 16, 2011 at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus. More than 100 local leaders in government, business and education attended.

  • The Main Building in 1940 at 6th & State Streets.

  • MATC's first director, Robert L. Cooley, was 43 when called upon by Milwaukee leaders to create a school to serve primarily young people who had dropped out of public school - most often to take menial jobs to help support family income. Over the next 28 years, he became a national leader in the development of vocational education and oversaw the construction of the Milwaukee Vocational School at Sixth and State Streets.

  • During the Great Depression, people who lacked jobs flocked to school for retraining.

  • A student trains in a war production factory, early 1940s.

  • One of the first logos for Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV), Channels 10/36.

  • The college experienced a surge in evening student enrollment among adults and returning World War II veterans.

  • In the 1960s, students found Milwaukee Institute of Technology (MIT) classes an economical way to begin their four-year degree programs. Here students participate in an electronics class.

  • Happy graduates.

  • Students grow healthy, vibrant plants in the Mequon Campus greenhouse. The 200,000 square-foot campus includes extensive grounds for MATC's horticulture programs.

  • MATC's West Allis Campus.

  • The Stormers baseball team plays its home games at the Oak Creek Campus.

  • Photovoltaic arrays are part of the Oak Creek Campus.

  • Ethnic Fest 2011 was vibrant, lively, and colorful.

  • The inaugural Centennial Golf Outing resulted in fun on the links for more than 140 golfers.

  • The Centennial Finale Celebration was held September 27, 2012, and capped off a year-long celebration of 100 years of innovative education.

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Centennial Happenings


Did You Know?

A citizen volunteer Board of Directors governs the school. The board had five members through 1969. When the college became part of the 16-district Vocational Technical and Adult Education system (now the Wisconsin Technical College System), the number of board members increased to nine.

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Centennial Collection