New program will build critical aircraft production talent pool
WICHITA, Kan. (March 10, 2020) – Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, WSU Tech and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) today announced a new collaborative apprenticeship program to address long-term production and tooling requirements for the company’s aircraft programs and help further Wichita’s status as one of the world’s major aerospace clusters.
The two-year program, the first of its kind in the region, will provide students both factory and classroom training in a wide range of skills needed to help design, build and maintain production tooling, which covers everything from specialized hand-held tools to large jig assemblies supporting aircraft parts and assemblies. As Textron Aviation employees, program participants will not only earn a full-time salary and benefits, but the company will also cover related tuition and fees at WSU Tech.
“Textron Aviation has long been committed to building educational and community partnerships that benefit both the company and the region, particularly in developing a well-paid, skilled workforce that maintains our advantage in a very competitive, global market,” said Maggie Topping, senior vice president of HR and Communications at Textron Aviation. “Through the new apprenticeship program with WSU Tech, our students will get the benefit of an advanced curriculum designed specifically for this program, as well as learn on the job from our highly skilled tradespeople.”
“WSU Tech is nationally known for aerospace education programs that offer hands-on training in our own campus facilities and through partnerships like we have with Textron Aviation,” said Dr. Sheree Utash, president, WSU Tech. “We are so proud of our role as the premier training partner for the Wichita aerospace cluster, still an aviation export leader for the U.S.”
“This program is another example of the innovation and disciplined business practices of the people of Kansas that have made us a global aerospace leader,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “This kind of partnership is exactly the formula that helps attract talented people to work and live in Kansas.”
In a typical week under the program, the first class of 15 apprentices will attend training at WSU Tech for two days and spend three days with assigned mentors at Textron Aviation production facilities in South Central Kansas. Company mentors will be selected from the various divisions within the Tooling department and will acquaint the apprentice with Textron Aviation’s company, culture and job requirements, and will share their knowledge and expertise.
Apprentices will rotate through the various divisions and spend time with each mentor to develop a well-rounded knowledge of the department and company. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will earn a Tooling Associates of Applied Studies (AAS) degree from WSU Tech and move to full-time positions at Textron Aviation.
The specialized curriculum consists of technical studies and general education courses, including mechanical design, aviation manufacturing, welding, machining and electronics. If they choose, apprentices can take advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit and continue their education following the program to earn a bachelor’s degree.
About Textron Aviation Inc.
Textron Aviation Inc. is the leading general aviation authority and home to the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, which account for more than half of all general aviation aircraft flying. The Textron Aviation brands represent unrivaled innovation, performance and leadership in the industry, and offer an unmatched value proposition rooted in the total ownership experience. Leveraging unparalleled speed-to-market, Textron Aviation provides the most versatile and comprehensive business and general aviation product portfolio in the world through five principal lines of business: business jets, general aviation and special mission turboprop aircraft, high performance piston aircraft, military trainer and defense aircraft and a complete global customer service organization. Textron Aviation has delivered more than 250,000 aircraft in over 170 countries. Its broad range of products include such best-selling aircraft as Citation business jets, King Air and Caravan turboprops and T-6 military trainer aircraft, all of which are backed by the industry’s most capable global service network. For more information, visit www.txtav.com
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
About WSU Tech
WSU Tech is the state’s leader in modern technical education offering over 100 degree and certificate options in aviation, health care, manufacturing, design, information technology, police science, and business. The WSU Tech Foundation is the college’s partner in securing and providing various resources to support and promote education and workforce development throughout the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.WSUTECH.edu.