Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce: Business leaders urge support for MATC referendum
Contact: Jessica Burda
Passage Critical for Jobs and Regional Economy, Says Chamber Board
Madison – In a positive statement for jobs and affordable, advanced job training, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) Board of Directors announced today their support for Madison College (MATC) and the proposed Smart Community Plan, which will go before voters on the November ballot.
The Smart Community Plan includes new training facilities and renovations and technical upgrades to current buildings to increase access to advanced job training. GMCC President Jennifer Alexander says the multi-faceted plan will benefit the region.
“This is a forward-thinking strategy that will offer more training opportunities for students, create more employment opportunities for workers, and provide more skilled workers for businesses,” said Alexander.
Encompassing 12 counties with five regional campuses, Madison College continues to experience annual enrollment growth, making the institution unable to accommodate current and future student demand. Considering more than 80 percent of graduates find a job in the region, Madison College plays a vital role in the local economy.
“Businesses need highly trained workers just as much as workers need good, family-supporting jobs,” said James Imhoff, CEO of First Weber Group and GMCC Board Vice-Chairperson. “This plan will help business fill positions with job-ready applicants.”
James Riordan, WPS Health Insurance President and CEO and GMCC Board member continued: “Madison College trains and retrains thousands of Dane County residents for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs. Voting yes on this referendum assures that Madison College will continue to provide the training we need to take advantage of jobs offered by current and new area employers.”
A primary objective of the Smart Community Plan is to provide job training in career paths that have the highest projected demand, including protective services, advanced manufacturing and healthcare.
James Woodward, Meriter Hospital President and CEO and GMCC Board member, says the plan is a significant investment in the future of Madison College and the health of our region.
“For so many of our employees, MATC was the first - and most affordable - door to their health care careers,” said Woodward. “We urge other employers and residents to lend their support by voting yes to the MATC referendum!"
While Alexander acknowledged that even a modest tax increase is challenging in a difficult economy, she emphasized that the plan is long overdue and a sound investment for the future.
“Especially in a difficult economic climate, we need to ensure that quality job training and educational opportunities are available to residents,” said Alexander. “Passage of this referendum will ensure that these resources are available for many years to come.”