Carrie Rengers

Emily Bonavia of Bonavia Industries contributes apartments to Wichita Promise MOVE

Emily Bonavia of Bonavia Industries is contributing apartments at 250 Douglas Place, the building in the center of this photo, to Wichita Promise MOVE.
Emily Bonavia of Bonavia Industries is contributing apartments at 250 Douglas Place, the building in the center of this photo, to Wichita Promise MOVE. File photo

The Wichita Community Foundation isn't the only group helping pick up the tab for WSU Tech to create Wichita Promise MOVE, a program that will pay housing, transportation and other expenses for students who want to move to Wichita to train for certain high-demand jobs.

Emily Bonavia of Bonavia Industries also is donating $80,000 worth of furnished apartments at 250 Douglas Place at the Garvey Center for those students to use.

"The money saved in housing for students at WSU Tech will mean more people will benefit from this very generous grant from the Wichita Community Foundation," Bonavia said in a statement.

The foundation plans to invest $1 million to create the Talent Ecosystem Fund. An initial grant of $500,000 will go to WSU Tech — formerly Wichita Area Technical College — to help pay cost-of-living expenses for students who want to relocate to Wichita from other cities or states.

Bonavia pointed out that the apartments are within walking or cycling distance from WSU Tech.

She said another idea behind her donation is to help students appreciate the downtown neighborhood and its livability while they in turn help diversify the area.

"Here was an immediate, positive response to the question of how to attract skilled workers to Wichita," Bonavia said of what the school and foundation are doing.

"I hope this is only the first of many such initiatives to meet the challenge to attract, train and retain our best resource: people."

Suzanne Perez Tobias contributed to this report.

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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