A Kansas technical college will pay people to move to Wichita and train them for free to help aviation companies with hiring needs, officials said.
Students are also promised a guaranteed job interview at an aviation company through Wichita Promise Move, a scholarship program at WSU Tech. Spirit AeroSystems and Textron Aviation are among the companies offering job interviews to students.
“Wichita Promise Move is designed to help break down the barriers that keep individuals from getting trained,” Sheree Utash, president of WSU Tech, said in a news release. “Whether those barriers are financial, location, time or the fear of failing, we are ready to help anyone get the training they need to get a career in aviation and live, work and play in Wichita, KS.”
In addition to paying tuition and fees for training at WSU Tech, Wichita Promise Move will provide certification, credentials and personal career coaching to students, said Andy McFayden, a spokesman for the National Center for Aviation Training. WSU Tech is the managing partner of NCAT.
The scholarship program will also pay relocation expenses for students as well as provide housing and pay cost of living expenses while students are in the program, McFayden said in a release. There may also be potential sign-on bonuses offered by the program to students when they are hired.
The program is only for people who live 75 miles or more from Wichita. But people who live in or near Wichita may be eligible for a similar program, Wichita Promise, that also pays tuition and fees and guarantees a job interview.
Eligible training programs were selected based on hiring needs at Wichita aviation companies and can be completed in six to eight weeks. They include aviation sheetmetal assembly, a 19 credit hour technical certificate in the aerospace manufacturing technology program, and process mechanic painter, an 18 credit hour technical certificate in the aerospace coatings and paint technology program.
Classes begin in March. The program is limited to the first 50 students who meet eligibility requirements. More information on eligibility and how to apply is available online at www.wsutech.edu/wichitapromisemove/.
This spring’s program comes less than a year after 50 students relocated to Wichita for training in fall 2018. All 50 students received a job offer from either Spirit AeroSystems or Textron Aviation, McFayden said.
Officials at Spirit AeroSystems announced plans in December to add 1,400 jobs this year in Wichita, often referred to as the the Air Capital of the World. Spirit designs and builds aerostructures for commercial and defense customers.
Textron Aviation is the leading general aviation authority, the WSU Tech news release said. Textron owns the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands.