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Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas

Meet Lisa

Workforce Challenge

After seven years of employment as a sheet metal assembly worker, Lisa received notice that she was being laid off effective immediately. She started drawing weekly unemployment benefits along with many of her coworkers. Although Lisa has 13 years of experience in aircraft sheet metal assembly, she was unable to find employment with her current skill set and education. At the time, a search of current job openings for Aircraft Structures, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers on KANSASWorks resulted in 10 job openings. However, there were 512 job seeker resumes available.

Lisa took things into her own hands and enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Wichita Area Technical College. Her goal was to obtain her A & P license and become employed as a FAA certified aircraft mechanic. However, Lisa was struggling to attend school and pay bills.

Workforce Solution

Then, she realized that she was eligible for benefits under TAA Petition 74901 and visited the Wichita Workforce Center for services. Lisa completed eligibility and was co-enrolled in the WIA Dislocated Worker and NEG programs. She enrolled in TAA and, through her case manager, learned about the many benefits available to her including training. With her case manager, Lisa submitted a classroom training request and was approved to continue her training, complete an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology and obtain her FAA Airframe & Power Plant license.

Approval of Lisa’s training plan allowed her to receive training without paying out-of-pocket, as well as receive TRA benefits to support her while in training. Due to her co-enrollment in the NEG program, she was also able to receive fuel assistance to help cover the cost of transportation to and from training.

Outcomes & Benefits

Lisa completed her A.A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology with a 3.6 GPA and obtained her A & P license. She secured full-time employment as a Quality Inspector at Spirit Aerosystems. Lisa continued to work, but never ceased looking for a position where she could utilize her new skills. Now, she is employed with Bombardier in their Service Center. She says, "I want to thank you and your staff for the help that you extended to me through it all.”

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