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Barhorst: MATC brands itself 'Madison College' as it negotiates recession

The recession has put extra stress on Madison Area Technical College and other local educational institutions around the state despite the availability of targeted federal stimulus money.

Bettsey Barhorst, president of MATC, calls the balancing of community needs, jobless workers seeking retraining, young students, and taxpayers "a real conundrum."

"We do what's needed," Barhorst told the WisBusiness.com-Madison Magazine luncheon Oct. 5 at the Madison Club. "A community college is connected to the community, to the needs of the community at a particular time."

While MATC pursues targeted federal money, it also is:

-- Planning to raise its property tax levy more than 8 percent this December in part to accommodate a 13 percent enrollment increase.

-- Shifting its brand to "Madison College" to set itself apart from the other MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College) and to make sure people know that it's been a community college for more than 40 years.

-- Expanding its offerings to include new fields like the making of wind turbines for wind farms.

Behind it all is preparing people for real jobs. Barhorst said the guiding questions are: "Will there be (those kind of) jobs ... Will there be (those kind of) jobs in Wisconsin?"

The next WisBusiness.com- Madison Magazine luncheon at the Madison Club on Nov. 2 features Tom Zimbrick talking about the car business. Call the Madison Club at 608-255-4861 to reserve your spot.

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