Textron Aviation announced a new apprenticeship program Tuesday.
WSU Tech, Textron and the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace workers partnered for the training program.
The two-year apprenticeship provides 15 students with classroom and factory training. Textron will cover WSU Tech tuition and fees as well as provide a full-time job with salary and benefits.
“Our students will get the benefits for an advanced curriculum designed specifically for this program, as well as learn on the job from our highly skilled tradespeople,” said Maggie Topping of Textron Aviation.
Students will attend training at WSU Tech for two days and spend three days at Textron. Each of the apprentices will spend their time with a mentor at the Textron production facilities.
The mentors are from various divisions within the tooling department.
Apprentices will rotate through the divisions and spend time with each mentor in order to develop knowledge across the department.
Participants in the program will earn a Tooling Associates of Applied Studies degree from WSU Tech and a full-time position upon completion of the program.
The goal of the program is to keep high-skilled workers in Kansas. More than 78 percent of Textron’s tooling experts will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. The program aims to create a new talent pool of tooling experts.
Gov. Laura Kelly attended the announcement at Textron Aviation. She spoke highly of the program and said a goal for her administration is to have vocational education keep the Kansas workforce competitive.
She said workplace learning opportunities and apprenticeships are key.
“This kind of partnership is exactly the formula that helps attract talented people to work and live in Kansas,” Kelly said.
David Garcia is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.