WSU Tech prepares for more students after Spirit AeroSystems job increase


More jobs means more training and with the announcement of Spirit AeroSystems adding 1,400 jobs to its Wichita plant, WSU Tech will soon feel the impact.

The university has been a training provider for Spirit for years, but officials said with the added jobs, the challenge will be finding creative ways to bring recruits for this type of training. 

WSU Tech has had calls flooding in from people interested in learning more about aviation and wanting to move quickly. 

“My staff has been fielding them and folks from students that are just leaving,” said Jim Hall, Dean of Aviation Technologies at WSU Tech. “They are talking about their friends and family coming in and going, ‘hey, how do we get these guys in the next session?’

WSU Tech courses take 6-8 weeks to complete. 

Hall said last year, 600 students went through the program. 

“We start 20 new students every two weeks, so we have a rolling group going out every two weeks,” said Hall. “It makes it good for their employment and it’s good for our instructors, too, because they can put a lot more students through that way.”

Having enough room for the added students is not an issue. 

The school will continue ramping up programs to meet the growing student population. 

“We are lucky that we actually got the capacity to do that now,” Hall said. “We made the ramp up last year, so we’re prepared to definitely provide them with a lot of great employees this year.”

It’s not just for people who are already interested in aviation, but others who are looking for something new, too. 

“It’s also a great opportunity for people in our community that may be in the service industry or the retail industry that are looking for a change,” said Sheree Utash, president of WSU Tech. 

“You don’t have to have any prior knowledge in aviation,” said Hall. “We’re going to train you in everything you need to know to make you successful in your aviation career.”

After students complete the program, they are guaranteed an interview with Spirit AeroSystems. 

The school estimates about 800 or more people will go through the program next year. 

WSU Tech will have an informational session about careers in aviation and the programs it offers on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 3:00 the National Center for Aviation Training. After that, the sessions will continue every Tuesday and Thursday. 

The Wichita Promise Scholarship is also available and can help students with getting their tuition and fees paid for. 

For more information about that scholarship and more, click here.

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