The need for economic stimulus dollars to help retrain dislocated workers was the topic of a discussion March 9, 2009, at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus. The discussion featured talks by MATC instructors who are teaching dislocated workers, testimonials from dislocated workers who are being served by the college, and reaction from state legislators.
Attendees included four Wisconsin State Assembly representatives, including Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (44th District); Barbara Toles (17th District), chair of the assembly's Workforce Development Committee; Pedro Colón (8th District); and Cory Mason (62nd District). Roger Hinkle of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board also attended. The dislocated workers were from the HIRE Center and Voces de la Frontera.
Toles said, "Increased funding for the technical college is critical in order to prepare and train workers with the skills needed to meet the changing needs of today's workforce. Today's jobs require a more highly skilled worker."
The HIRE Center is a specialty job center providing re-employment and retraining services for dislocated workers residing in or laid off from employment in Milwaukee County. Voces de la Frontera is a Wisconsin nonprofit organization that educates workers about their employment rights and organizes to protect and improve the quality of life for low-wage and immigrant workers.
The event was sponsored by MATC; the American Federation of Teachers, Local 212; the HIRE Center; and Voces de la Frontera.