WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Wichita State University (WSU) Tech unveiled construction plans for the school’s healthcare Future Ready Center.

Students who are already enrolled in the center’s curriculum were there for the announcement, which is meant to bolster the long-term future of the healthcare industry in Wichita.

Back in April, the Wichita City Council approved American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for workforce hiring and training for 14 organizations impacted by the pandemic, including WSU Tech.

Fourteen organizations received a total of $6.3 million. WSU Tech was one of those organizations and received nearly $2.1 million. The funds will go towards purchasing new equipment, supplies, and renovations at WSU Tech and Welsey Medical Center to develop Future Ready Centers and increase the number of students pursuing health careers.

According to WSU Tech, these centers will “focus on training the future workforce, inspiring youth to explore local career fields, in collaboration with industry and community partners.”

Students at Wichita Public Schools will have dedicated spaces where they can receive hands-on training, learning opportunities, and mentoring, all while earning college credits from WSU Tech.

“They’re going to leave high school with credentials and industry certifications that they can go right to work, they’re going to leave with a technical certificate from WSU tech and often times a degree, with guess what? No student loan debt,” said Dr. Sheree Utash, President of WSU Tech.

One small group has already begun learning at the first Future Ready Center, which focuses on advanced manufacturing and aviation.

“This year, the @CityofWichita announced an ARPA Workforce Development Grant, allowing @WichitaUSD259 students to earn healthcare industry credentials from @wsutech while still in High School. Today we kicked off the program alongside the students who will benefit from it,” tweeted Wichita Mayor Dr. Brandon Whipple.

The renovated facility should be open by next summer.