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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas


Meet Michael

Workforce Challenge

In May 2012, Michael had been employed for six years as a sheet metal assembler for an aerospace manufacturer when he received notice of being laid off. The company was moving assembly to its plant in Mexico, which meant the elimination of a number of jobs. Michael had been earning over $26 per hour, but now he was unemployed and drawing weekly unemployment benefits along with many of his coworkers. Unfortunately his prospects for reemployment were not very good. Labor market data at the time indicated a decline for that field in the state of Kansas. As part of the layoff, Michael was referred to Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas for assistance.

Workforce Solution

Michael was eligible for benefits under Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) and came into the Workforce Center the day after his layoff. He met with his case manager for the first time, completed enrollment, and learned about the benefits TAA available to him, including job training. Michael researched available training opportunities and identified the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program through Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) as his best option to update and enhance his current skills. He felt this training would allow him to expand his job search to other states if necessary due to the out sourcing of jobs in our local area.

Outcomes & Benefits

Michael began his training at WATC in August 2012. By November 2013, the school had hired him as an adjunct professor. This provided Michael with part-time employment so that he could continue his training and have some additional financial support for him and his family. Michael completed training at WATC in April 2014 and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology. He also completed his Airframe oral and practical exams, obtaining his Airframe license in September 2013, and General and Powerplant license upon graduation. Michael’s training and credentials proved to be a valuable asset and he didn’t even have to relocate. May 2014, Michael began his new full-time position as a Technician, Aviation Maintenance (A & P Mechanic) with Bombardier Learjet at a rate of $22 per hour. In two years, TAA provided him with the opportunity and support needed to obtain new skills and embark on a new career.


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