WSU Tech announces new scholarship program for laid-off aviation workers


WSU Tech

Screenshot from WSU Tech's announcement

WSU Tech announced its plans yesterday for the Wichita Promise Scholarship, a scholarship directed towards laid off aviation workers who want to further their education. 

This scholarship was created to target workers who were recently laid-off by production suspension in the aviation field.  

“Many of those that are being laid off due to this production issue have been former students here and have gone through our pipeline in order to go to work at Spirit,” WSU Tech president Sheree Utash said. “So we came together, and said that we want to put no financial burden on these affected workers from spirit or the supply chain.”

Kaith Lawing, President and CEO of Workforce Alliance, said that in addition to the financial perks, the timing has been planned out to work best for these individuals. 

“Our understanding is that because March 10 is the end of the WARN notice for workers laid off from Spirit Aerosystems, those workers will get their last paycheck on March 26 so this is good timing for those who want to pursue additional skills,” Lawing said. 

The program will pay full tuition for classes aimed at helping individuals learn a new skill, add to their skillset and finish their associate’s degree. 

WSU Tech has created 16 different options of short-term certification training, in all different areas of manufacturing and aviation.

“We’ve built these training opportunities with the laid-off worker in mind with short-term, half-day classes so people can upskill, re-skill or finish their degree,” Utash said. 

WSU Tech is offering the scholarship through budgeting and community donations. The community donations include a $10,000 gift from the Wichita Aero Club.

Utash said that their goal is to help individuals follow their unique passions and goals.

“We understand that each person’s story is different and so we are encouraging individuals to come in, tell us what they need and let us see how we can help them achieve their goals,” Utash said. “We are addressing concerns on an individual basis.”