WATC wins $14.9 million federal grant for job training

Wichita Area Technical College has been awarded a $14.9 million grant to lead a consortium of community colleges that will develop curricula to train workers for the aviation industry.

According to a news release from WATC, the U.S. Department of Labor grant puts the technical school in the lead of the project, which will begin Oct. 1.

About $9 million of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant will go to WATC. Other colleges that are part of the National Aviation Consortium are Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne, Ind., Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N.C., Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, Okla., and Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Wash.

In Wichita, local partners include Bombardier Learjet, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, and Spirit AeroSystems, as well as the Kansas Board of Regents, the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas and Kansas Works.

According to the news release, the grant is part of the Obama administration's initiative to allocate $500 million nationally in support of job training through local employer partnerships.