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WSU Tech president testifies before U.S. Senate on the need for aviation training

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WSU Tech President Sheree Utash testified before the U.S. Senate's Commerce Committee on Aviation on Thursday.

WSU Tech President Sheree Utash spoke at a hearing before the U.S. Senate's Commerce Committee on Aviation on Thursday about the role of higher education in developing the aviation workforce.

The committee held the hearing to gauge some of the challenges faced by the aviation industry, as well as how to use existing institutions and resources to address those challenges.

Utash said collaboration between public and private entities is the key to securing a strong aviation workforce.

“I have long believed that the best three-legged stool to get things done is when government, education and industry work together in collaboration," she said.

Utash outlined WSU Tech’s efforts to support Wichita’s aviation industry through the National Center for Aviation Training. She said 92% of its graduates are working in high-demand aerospace jobs in the region.

The hearing also discussed a shortage of pilots in the commercial airline industry, and how to involve more women and people of color in aviation.

“We need to urge new and more innovative industry-career and technical education partnerships that support student success and meet the diverse needs of students, industry and our communities, resulting in a much broader talent pool,” she said.

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