jobs

Andrea Klinke Johannsen / flickr Creative Commons

An employment forecast released Thursday projects continued economic growth for both the Wichita area and Kansas next year.

Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) conducts industry-level employment surveys each year to help formulate its forecasts.

CEDBR Director Jeremy Hill says the Wichita area is expected to grow about 0.5% in 2020, adding about 1,600 new jobs. The workforce expanded by 1.3% this year.

He says the slow job growth pattern is a turnaround from 2017 when the region lost jobs.

Over the last five years, almost 15,000 workers disappeared from the Kansas workforce.

During the same timeframe, the state is growing economically, with a recent monthly report showing 14,000 jobs created in the last year and unemployment at 3.3%. That’s below the national rate. 

Despite the good news, Kansas officials see a long-term challenge: having enough employees to fill the state’s jobs, especially in high-demand careers like nursing and accounting.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

Adult education programs offered by Kansas’ colleges and school districts are increasingly bringing classes to workers where they already are: at work.

IAMAW Local Lodge 708

A contractor strike at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita is entering its sixth week.

Seventeen machinists union members who work for FlightSafety Services Corporation walked off the job in mid-February. The workers rejected FlightSafety’s contract offer because the agreement did not include a government designation that determines wages. Last week, union members rejected a "return-to-work" agreement.

KANSAS CITY — Seventy hours a week got old. Fast. So did working multiple jobs.

So Joseph Cowsert wept tears of joy and relief the day he got word while bathing his baby daughter that UPS was offering him a 40-hour-a-week position in web development.

“It was like a burden lifted off of me,” he said. “I didn’t realize it was weighing so heavily.”

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

A college degree is still your best bet for earning top dollar.

Yet with more Americans graduating from college, having a degree is no longer enough to stand out. To make the most of that degree in an economy filled with college grads, choosing the right degree is that much more important. Here are some tips for finding the right college major.

Fernando Salazar / For the Kansas News Service

Jon Hu stepped away from Wichita State University’s engineering career fair with beads of sweat forming on his face.

Students and the employers who might offer them jobs had crammed into a university ballroom. Most were donned — and overheating — in suits in the crowded room.

“I’ve been wearing this suit for about five hours,” Hu said. “So, yeah. It’s very, very hot in this.”

Ferran Rodenas / Flickr

Most Wichitans probably don't realize there are more than 100 technology companies in the city.

“It's like one of the best-kept-secrets type of a thing,” said Robin Huber, a vice president at NetApp.

FlagshipKansas.Tech plans to change that. The new organization wants to help tech companies grow by making the industry more visible in Kansas.

It also wants to attract tech talent to Kansas and retain talent already here. And it wants to work with colleges and technical schools on aligning curriculums with industry needs.

McClatchy Co., the parent company of The Kansas City Star and the Wichita Eagle, is offering buyouts to about 10 percent of its workforce.

In an email to employees on Friday, McClatchy President and CEO Craig Forman said the company was “rolling out two major initiatives,” including “a voluntary early retirement program for qualified colleagues, as we continue to align the size of our workforce to the changes that come with digital transformation.”

The email said about 450 McClatchy employees would be receiving “a voluntary early retirement offer today via email.”

Ascha Lee

Spirit AeroSystems announced Wednesday it will add 1,400 new jobs over the course of the next year.

 

The aviation company is the largest employer in Wichita. Last year, Spirit announced it would add 1,000 jobs in the next two years, which already has done.

 

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Gov.-elect Laura Kelly attended the news conference where Spirit president and CEO Tom Gentile made the announcement.

 

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