One big question high-school graduates face is “what’s next?” For many, the traditional route of pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree is ideal. Yet for other students, there are obstacles that can make that path difficult. Tuition costs can be high, four years can seem like a long commitment or some students may prefer a more hands-on learning approach.
Milwaukee Area Technical College provides students with an alternative career path with its RevUp program. RevUp, which began in 2017, is a training program for highly skilled technicians to fill a variety of jobs in the automotive service industry. The program offers two degree programs, a two-year associate degree and a nine-month technical diploma.
In previous years, there has been a national shortage of automotive technicians and diesel mechanics. To increase awareness in career opportunities and provide optimal training, MATC launched The Al Hurvis/PEAK Transportation Center, a three-million-dollar lab at MATC’s downtown location.
“It’s a fantastic location that allows us to provide student education, community outreach and industry engagement,” said Reggie Parks, a RevUp success coach.
MATC plans to reach out to high school and middle school students by hosting after-school and summer immersion programs on automotive work.
The program also offers a student club called PEAK Hot Rod Crew. MATC student Alec Seebach explains that the club allows students to work on their personal cars and connects students with future employers.
“Some people have gotten jobs here without ever leaving the building,” said Seebach.
Ginka Hoyt, another MATC student, said the RevUp program helps address the gender gap in the predominantly male industry.
“In my classroom out of 14 people there are only two females,” said Hoyt. “Just because you’re a female doesn’t mean you don’t have the skills or knowledge for this program. Don’t let anyone discourage you. There are always people that will knock you down but just stick to it.”