Hurvis Transportation Center Poised for Success

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Photo by Andi Clunie

Hurvis Transportation Center

After nearly three years of planning and hard work, the new jewel of Sixth Street is finally a reality. The Al Hurvis / PEAK Transportation Center opened to a bevy of fanfare; attendees included Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, benefactor and Old World Industries’ chairman Tom Hurvis, drag car racing legend John Force and MATC President Dr. Vicki Martin. “We could not have imagined the kind of support we would get from the industry when we first had the vision for this project,” said Martin, beaming. “We couldn’t imagine what the completed space would really look like, even though we had seen renderings.” She added, “When you have a lot of people coming together re-ally believing in the vision, working together really hard day after day, and making sure we have a successful program for our students and for our community, this is the fruition of that. And it’s just a magnificent space.”

“On a scale of one to 10, I’m a 15. This new space is absolutely sensational because everyone worked together.”

Located in the T Building at the downtown campus, the completed space will help encompass the college’s RevUp program, which focuses on educating and training future automotive industry professionals. Students currently in the program at Mequon and Oak Creek campuses spoke of the value of having a showcase space to build awareness for their program. “I like how well thought-out the completed space is with the big lab floor and the classrooms over-looking space from above,” said Xavier Buchanan, an auto technician program student at the Oak Creek campus.

“My advice to future students would be to utilize every inch of the space, learn the work, and learn it slowly,” Buchanan added that the benefits of the RevUp program go a long way. Hurvis, whose company produced the PEAK brand of auto-motive products, was “overjoyed” with the project’s results. “On a scale of one to 10 I’m a 15,” said Hurvis, a major donor to the RevUp program. “This new space is absolutely sensational because everyone worked together. This is a great example of a public/private collaboration and it could not have worked any better.” Projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predict the automotive repair job sector will increase a total of 9% by 2022.

Hurvis Building

Photographer: Quentin Ware

This is primarily due to a substantial number of current workers nearing retirement at almost twice the rate of the country’s entire workforce; a statistic not lost on Hurvis. “We have all these kids from the city who don’t know these jobs exist,” he said, “jobs in the automotive areas, drivers, mechanics, etc. Part of what our job was to communicate that message. Dealers and others are desperately looking for employees, so what we did was step in the middle.” Hurvis added, “This project is about the best thing we have ever done. And the benefit is a lot of students’ lives will be changed.”