Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 12:07 am
Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele announced a personal pledge of $500,000 to the MATC Promise program at the school’s spring graduation ceremony.
The program covers tuition and fees for eligible students after federal and state financial aid is applied. Abele previously donated $250,000 to the program in November 2015. He wants to target the current gift to student scholarships and technical training for people living and working in the 53206 zip code.
The area, generally bounded by Capitol Drive and North Avenue between Interstate 43 and 27th Street, has some of the highest levels of poverty in the city of Milwaukee. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 47.5 percent of the zip code’s residents are living below the poverty line, including almost 66 percent of those under the age of 18.
The MATC Promise Program first opened to high school students enrolling in fall 2016. MATC president Vicki Martin said the gift would allow the school to move forward with plans to expand the program to adults.
“With partners like Chris, MATC is redefining the future of higher education to create an affordable, accessible path to family-sustaining employment and career advancement,” Martin said.
Abele described MATC as a “first class academic institution” that is helping to close the skills gap in Wisconsin.
“I am proud to invest in the expansion of this program to give more people access to a quality education,” Abele said.