WASHINGTON – Known as the “Air Capital of the World,” the Wichita, Kansas, area is home to some of the world’s largest aerospace manufacturers, so there was a significant ripple effect in the region after the grounding of the Boeing 737 in 2020. Two years later, industry layoffs continue to affect more than 9,000 workers, prompting the U.S. Department of Labor to provide funding to help workers in six counties prepare for new employment opportunities.
Today, the department announced the award of $855,377 in National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas Inc. to continue to provide workforce training services to dislocated aviation industry workers in Butler, Cowley, Harper, Kingman, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.
Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants provide assistance to a state or local board to fund direct services and assistance in areas experiencing a major economic dislocation event, such as layoffs from companies in the same industry that result in workforce needs exceeding available resources.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, this supplemental award is being made available to support retraining and skills development for affected workers. In May 2020, the department announced the award of Dislocated Worker Grant funds of $1,921,4222 to provide reemployment services in response to layoffs at Spirit AeroSystems and 25 other aviation industry companies that produce component parts for the Boeing 737. The supplemental award announced today brings the total project funds awarded to $2,776,799. More than 4,000 aviation industry layoffs have occurred since the first award was announced.