WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and Ivanka Trump, White House adviser and the president’s daughter, arrived in Wichita Wednesday night for a visit dealing with aviation.
On Thursday, Pompeo and Trump talked with students at WSU-Tech National Center for Aviation Training. Ivanka even received some hands-on experience with riveting
“I had a chance to work here and be part of the Air Capital of the World for more than a decade. Anyone who has ever run a business knows you can’t get far if your team does not have the right skills or the workforce is prepared,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Both then took part in a round table with Dr. Sheree Utash, President of WSU Tech and Vice President of Workforce Development at Wichita State University, a board of business, education, government, not-for-profit leaders and students who provided recommendations on how to ensure American workers remain the best workforce in the world.
“It is all incredibly inspiring because you all are the faces of the work that we are all trying to do and of the future of this country,” said Ivanka Trump.
During the round table discussion, students at WSU Tech shared their personal journeys.
“I’m hoping to inspire them to create more programs like these. Due to these programs, I’ve been able to get through college as a high schooler,” said Alexandria Chubbuck, Heights High School student.
“I can’t thank you enough for my education and thank you for giving me a career,” said Reggie Gregory, WSU Tech student.
Many talked about how their success didn’t come from a four year school.
“We told our kids they would have to go to a four year college, that was a mistake,” said Pompeo. “It is all of you who have the grit and perseverance and desire to achieve that are making these programs successful.”
After the round table, a group of Wichita-based aviation companies signed the Pledge to America’s Workers. They included Spirit AeroSystems, the largest employer in the state of Kansas, Airbus and Bombardier.
Pompeo and Ivanka Trump also visited Textron Aviation for a tour and meet and greet. Leaders explained how the manufacturing process is more efficient.
With a shortage of skilled workers, Sen. Jerry Moran said the exposure is exactly what Wichita needs to be put on the map for those looking for a job.
“And every visitor we have, no exceptions, says I had no idea that what is taking place here in Wichita, was taking place here or any place else,” said Moran.
Rep. Ron Estes said Ivanka Trump was impressed with Wichita and what is happening with jobs, and the need for more workers.
“And to be able to showcase our workforce, and to be able to showcase the education at WSU Tech, and other things throughout Kansas, Kansas is leading the country in some of these workforce development issues,” Estes said.
As Pompeo and Ivanka Trump gathered to leave, Sen. Moran said Wichita and the aviation community left a lasting impression on the national scene.
“This is absolutely a great thing for Wichita, for the Air Capital of the World. One of the things you hope to accomplish from a visit, particularly from Ivanka Trump is that,” Moran added.
Ivanka Trump tweeted, “Brilliant innovators such as Walter Beech & Clyde Cessna established this city as the hub for aircraft making during the early half of the 20th Century. 100 yrs later, Wichita remains a leader worldwide in aviation manufacturing!
Senator Jerry Moran tweeted, “This evening, I flew with @SecPompeo and @IvankaTrump to Wichita. Tomorrow, we’ll spend time at @WSUTech and @TextronAviation to discuss our efforts to bolster the American workforce. Welcome home, Secretary Pompeo, and welcome to Wichita, Ms. Trump.
Gallery: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ivanka Trump visit at WSU Tech