Calculating MATC's ROI
Study Finds College's One-Year Value at $1.7 Billion; Creating Many Economic Benefits for Students, Graduates and Taxpayers


MATC Business Management students work on a project at the Oak Creek Campus. The college's value to the region is detailed in new study.

Local and state taxpayers invested $176 million in MATC during the 2012-13 fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Recent research shows strong returns from this investment.

A comprehensive study by Economic Modeling Specialists International, reveals that MATC provides numerous, measurable benefits to businesses, the college's students and graduates, and taxpayers.

Published in February 2014, the study, Demonstrating the Value of MATC, puts the college's overall effect on the local business community at $1.7 billion in 2012-13, accounting for 3.1% of the Gross Regional Product. This "total impact" equals graduate/former student productivity ($1.5 billion), college operations ($192.8 million) and student spending ($8.3 million).

Graduate/former student productivity represents higher wages earned during the study year, the increased output of businesses that employed the graduates/former students and the multiplier effect that occurred as graduates/former students and their employees spent money at other businesses. The college's graduates totaled more than 3,000 in December 2012 and May 2013.

"This study reconfirms what we all know: our community is better when more people have an opportunity to educate themselves," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. "In many obvious and indirect ways, MATC makes Milwaukee a better place."

When students succeed at MATC, they put themselves in a better place financially. According to the study:

  • For every $1 students invest in MATC, they receive $5 in higher future wages.
  • The average MATC associate degree graduate will realize an increase in earnings of $10,900 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma.

Taxes that local and state government will collect from the added income created by MATC graduates/former students is significant. The study says that by the end of their careers, MATC's 2012-13 graduates and former students will have added $460.9 million in added paid state and local taxes.

Taxpayers also receive savings of $26 million from MATC graduates and former students through reduced social costs including less demand for welfare and unemployment benefits, reduced crime and related societal costs. All told:

  • For every $1 of public money invested in the college, taxpayers receive a cumulative value of $2.80 over the course of graduates' and former students' working lives.
  • The average annual rate of return for the taxpayer investment in MATC is 7.5%.

MATC President Dr. Michael L. Burke said the study quantifies MATC's regional value and "helps to tell the college's story, reaffirming that MATC is a remarkable investment for its students, graduates and taxpayers."

Of note is that many students attend MATC to complete a course or two to gain specific employment skills, not intending to complete a program.

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MATC Animation program students (from left) Shaun de Werff, Al Poma, Louis Troutman and Aaron Szyjakowski are applying their creative, digital skills to a virtual project to assist Marquette University nursing students. They are shown with a work-in-progress model of the project.

MATC Animation Students Take the Technology Lead in Developing a Virtual Lab at Marquette University

As a result of their unique skill sets, MATC Animation program students are helping Marquette University develop a leading-edge technology system in its Engineering Hall.

The project is unfolding, or more accurately digitizing, in MU's Visualization Lab in the building that opened in 2012 at North 16th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue.

On Thursday afternoons MATC students Shaun de Werff, Al Poma, Aaron Szyjakowski and Louis Troutman are creating a virtual 3D hospital room environment in the lab's CAVE (computer-assisted virtual environment), which includes a small stage area with dark backdrops. This is the students' digital canvas. When completed, their work will provide MU nursing students with realistic, pre-clinical experiences in a simulated hospital room. As an integral part of the experience, MATC students are creating patient monitoring devices with levels of activity and complexity, from "normal" readings to dire patient situations where nursing students will need to quickly intervene.

"Marquette is relying on MATC students to create the realism needed to make this technology work," said Dr. John LaDisa, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Marquette CAVE project. Dr. LaDisa and MATC Animation program instructor Brian Mennenoh initially met about the collaboration early in 2014.

Since March the MATC students have been working to bring hospital room realism to virtual reality, and treating the project like a professional client. The collaboration fits with MATC's career-centered education.

"It's exciting to work on this major technology," MATC student Poma said. "This does not feel like work."

The MATC students are scheduled for additional work at Marquette's CAVE, including creating a virtual surgical suite, an intensive care hospital room and a home health care environment.

Tasked with keeping their project on time and meeting or exceeding client expectations is a challenge the MATC students say they welcome. They also welcome the opportunity to better prepare for the demands of a career.

"We are creating something meaningful," Poma said.

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Clinton Rose

MATC Occupational Therapy Assistant student Jeff Francki provides a lesson in using a resistant band to Milwaukee resident Junior Carter at the Clinton Rose Senior Center.

Service Learning in Action
Senior Center Health Fair Showcases the Multiple Talents of MATC Students

A large common area in the Clinton Rose Senior Center, the size of a high school gym, was rimmed with information tables. MATC students from the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), Health Information Technology and Medical Coding Specialist programs staffed the tables; and welcomed more than 100 center clients and offered helpful, even life-changing, guidance.

The early April health fair was MATC's third annual at the north side Milwaukee facility. It brought the college's expertise into the community, providing older adults information on creating healthy meals on a budget, practicing simple and effective exercise techniques, increasing mobility and transportation options, navigating Medicare plans and the Affordable Care Act, and more. Among the goals: help empower seniors who increasingly feel that their lives are compromised, especially as they age.

OTA instructors Kelly Stapelman and Elaine Strachota assigned students in the Geriatric Specialties class to plan and execute the health fair. The event was also part of the college-wide Service Learning initiative; MATC students complete program-related projects throughout the Milwaukee area, typically at non-profit organizations (see related story, below). Service Learning gives students professional work experiences, provides the businesses with needed services, and develops and nurtures partnerships.

Weeks before the health fair, OTA students surveyed the center's clients and made data-driven decisions about what information to offer. Students also engaged local service providers to fill gaps.

Stapelman said OTA professionals take a holistic patient rehabilitation approach, including identifying potential problems, facilitating answers and developing discharge plans.

That holistic engagement was on display at the health fair. Students Caroline Schmitz and Courtney Mueller focused on transportation, which is key to accessing health care, healthy food options and maintaining independence.

"If seniors are able to get around independently, that is a plus to their health," Schmitz said.

Students Jeff Francki and Ivan Gikling demonstrated mobility exercises with resistance bands, soup cans and other common pantry items.

"The benefits of an active lifestyle are enormous," said Gikling.

As center program coordinator Aricka Evans surveyed the bustling scene, she called MATC's work at the center "a valuable partnership."

"This is a special event," Evans said. "It's a great resource for those who use our facility."

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Thousands of MATC Students Involved in Community Projects Through Service Learning

With more than 11,000 students, about 25% of MATC's total enrollment, involved in Service Learning in 2013, the college is rapidly growing this approach to hands-on, relevant education.

Service Learning partners non-profit organizations and businesses with college students. The students, through their classes and academic programs, share their skills and knowledge to complete projects. MATC's Office of Service Learning started modestly at MATC in 2006. In 2009, about 1,000 students were involved.

Today, many classes and programs throughout the college's six academic schools are part of Service Learning. Recent examples include a Sociology class that completed a Clarke Square neighborhood survey to help Journey House, a youth and family community center, make data-informed decisions on the programs and services it offers. In another initiative, information technology students assisted with networking a grade school's new computer lab.

"We are bringing the community into the classroom," said Suzanne Goodrich, who along with School of Liberal Arts and Sciences instructor colleagues Cody Hunnicutt and Yvette Ardis coordinates Service Learning at MATC.

In addition to engagement and real-work experiences with more than 160 community partners, Hunnicutt said Service Learning offers value in its "reflective opportunities," where students are exposed to new realities. Hunnicutt said many students would not have walked the neighborhood and interacted with the residents of the Clarke Square neighborhood had it not been for Service Learning. Back in his class, Hunnicutt engaged his students on the experience, highlighting diversity, class, economics, upward mobility and the role of education.

"Many students moved away from stereotypical views of central city neighborhoods after that," he said.

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Carl Dzick

Former dislocated worker Carl Dzick received congratulations from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on his graduation day from an accelerated skilled manufacturing program, run through MATC and two community partners.

Layoff Notice Starts a Journey to Skills Training and New Employment

With his experience as a machinist totaling 15 years, including employment during the Great Recession, Carl Dzick felt that his work world was reasonably secure. A layoff notice in September 2013 shattered that security.

Motivated by the setback, Dzick, a U.S. Army veteran, quickly enrolled in a skills training program that combined earning manufacturing certifications with hands-on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training,

Dzick was one of 12 dislocated manufacturing workers to begin the intense six-month program through MATC, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) and the HIRE Center. All 12 completed the program, with three adding an extra manufacturing credential to their resumes.

The students were recognized at an April graduation ceremony where Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, MATC faculty and staff, and staff from the MAWIB and the HIRE Center offered congratulations. At the ceremony the graduates were already reporting employment success. Some had started new jobs and others were mulling offers or setting up interviews. Dzick was hired in March at Wisconsin Tube and Steel as a skilled saw operator. He is excited and humbled for the opportunity.

"Receiving my layoff notice was life-changing, and led me on an incredible journey," Dzick said.

The journey started at MATC's new Education Center at Walker's Square, 816 West National Avenue. The 130,000 square-foot facility offers technical and basic skills training, and it is also the new home to the college's Bricklaying and Masonry, and Preparatory Plumbing technical diploma programs. At the facility, Dzick was one of three students to earn all four Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) credentialing certifications, completing 84 hours of training in Safety, Manufacturing Processes and Production, Quality Practices and Measurement, and Maintenance Awareness. Completing the four credentials leads to becoming a Certified Production Technician, an industry-recognized skill set. A Goldstein Foundation grant administered through the MATC Foundation funded the MSSC training.

Going through the MSSC training was a revelation for Dzick. As a machinist, he said his focus was narrow, centered on producing parts.

"I learned about the much broader scope of manufacturing," he said. "Now I understand and appreciate the process, which includes the customer order, design, creating, quality control and delivery."

The students also completed 380 hours of CNC training at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus, mostly on the horizontal turret lathe and vertical machining technology.

Mayor Barrett lauded the graduates and the program, especially its life-changing potential.

"I love this program, it creates hope and opportunity," Barrett said. "We need to train people for actual jobs, to match the real world of employers. MATC has been phenomenal in this."

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Portfolio Night

Employers are invited to meet graduating MATC students and view their project work at Portfolio Night.

Graduating Creative Career Students Ready to Impress Employers
at May 15 Portfolio Night

About 200 MATC students from 18 creative arts and related programs will showcase their career skills to area employers at the annual Portfolio Night, Thursday, May 15. The event will be held in Room M605 of the Downtown Milwaukee Campus. Industry professionals are invited to a special pre-event showing beginning at 4:30 p.m. The event runs until 8 p.m. In addition, media and creative arts forums will be held from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. and from 3 to 4:20 p.m. Pre-registration is required for the forums.

Portfolio Night uses a reverse job fair format, with employers making connections with potential employees. Most of the students will be graduating May 21 from associate degree and technical diploma programs in emerging and traditional digital arts and creative careers programs. The event is billed as "A Showcase of Portfolios and Career-Ready Skills."

Public relations consultant Jeff Winke has hired MATC Graphic Design program graduates from contacts made at Portfolio Night.

"I am always impressed with the caliber of talent graduating from the various programs," Winke said. "I have been fortunate to have hired exceptional and highly capable professionals."

Students from these programs will be at Portfolio Night:

  • Animation
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Technology
  • Computer Simulation and Gaming
  • Creative Advertising Strategist
  • Culinary Management
  • ebusiness Technology Specialist
  • eProduction
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Graphic Design
  • Interactive Media
  • Meeting and Event Management
  • Mobile Application Designer
  • Music Occupations
  • Photography
  • Special Event Management
  • Supervisory Management – Accelerated
  • Television and Video Production

There is no cost to attend Portfolio Night. Employers can receive more information and pre-register for the forums at 414-297-6433 or Details are also available at

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Melissa Elliott

Melissa Elliott

Kory Badani

Kory Badani

Large Class of Faculty Hires Bolsters MATC's Well-Earned Reputation of Instructors With Working Knowledge

At the start of this spring semester, 73 new faculty members began their full-time MATC teaching careers. Representing all academic schools and campuses, they are the largest class of new instructor hires in decades. They also have at least one other commonality: All bring years of industry-related experiences to their classrooms and labs, enriching a practical and relevant higher education that is a MATC hallmark.

Melissa Elliott, an instructor the Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement associate degree program, is a 25-year veteran of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's department. She was a captain and staff commander at General Mitchell International Airport. She also patrolled Milwaukee County freeways, dealing with routine vehicle breakdowns and deadly multiple-car crashes. And, she served on the sheriff's dignitary protection detail, a visible security presence for visiting presidents and presidential candidates.

While her deep and rich law enforcement background is a great resource, Elliott said it is the search for new information that also engages her and her students.

"I rely on what I know and seek out the new and different," she said.

With a diverse healthcare background, Kareem (Kory) Badani returned to teach in the associate degree program he graduated from, Surgical Technology. After his MATC graduation, he logged hundreds of hours assisting surgeons in hospitals and clinics. He also worked as a pharmacy technician and most recently earned a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree and worked as a registered nurse.

He stays affiliated with a local surgical clinic, working occasionally to keep his skills current.

"Keeping up with the skills of the profession is critical," said Badani, who fully appreciates a hands-on style of education that MATC demands.

"There is the textbook way and then there is actually doing what the profession requires," he said. "You can't open a book in surgery."

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2013 Annual Report

MATC's 2013 Annual Report.

Power of MATC Education to Transform is Theme of
2013 Annual Report

How MATC transforms lives is the focus of the college's 2013 Annual Report. Highlighted by eight alumni profiles, the report illustrates their transformative journeys to success. In the report's introduction, MATC District Board Chairperson Bobbie R. Webber and President Dr. Michael L. Burke write, ". . . One of the most exciting aspects of their stories is that the results are not unique. Virtually all students who enroll and graduate from our programs are similarly changed . . . ."

The report also includes the year in review highlights, fiscal year statements, student and graduate data, and a section on the MATC Foundation. View the report at:

Limited print copies are available; request at

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MATC will recognize more than 1,500 new graduates at its May 21 commencement.

Names and Notes

More than 1,500 MATC students will graduate at the college's annual spring commencement, set for Wednesday, May 21, at the U.S. Cellular Arena, 400 West Kilbourn Avenue. The event starts at 6 p.m. Students who have earned their associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and Adult High School diploma will be honored. MATC President Dr. Michael L. Burke will confer the degrees and diplomas. In a special presentation, Dr. Annette Madlock Gatison will receive the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Gatison is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Southern Connecticut State University. She started her higher education at MATC, earning an Administrative Assistant (now Administrative Professional) associate degree in 1995.

Two new District Board members were appointed by the MATC District Board Appointment Committee:
Abdulhamid Ali, chairman and CEO of DAAR Engineering, a multi-disciplinary civil engineering firm in Milwaukee. DAAR employs MATC graduates.

Mary Scheibel, principal and founder of Trefoil Group, a marketing and communications firm. Scheibel is active in the greater Milwaukee community and works closely with southeastern Wisconsin manufacturing companies.

The new members begin their terms July 1. They will replace district board members Michael G. Katz and Bobbie R. Webber.

Reappointed to the district board for three-year terms were David A. Dull and Kurt D. Walhholz.

The college's most comprehensive information source, the 2014-15 catalog is available at: The new catalog features
degree, diploma and certificate programs and narratives, course descriptions, student service information and School of Pre-College Education programs and courses.

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May 2014

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MATC is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Institution and complies with all requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. MATC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, the national standard in accrediting colleges and schools for distinction in academics and student services.