WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Workforce Center of South Central Kansas is helping unemployed individuals apply for a federal program to gain new skills.

“It’s imperative that I get moving along. You can’t sit and expect the government to take care of you,” said Paul Phelan, who was laid off from Spirit AeroSystems as a sheet metal mechanic for the 737 MAX.

Phelan was one from a group of individuals who have been laid off from the local aviation industry. He is now applying for a program in hopes to retrain for farm equipment maintenance and mechanics.

“Absolutely amazing 'cause I can actually go somewhere after I’m fully trained, and actually get a job and have an income, take care of my family,” he said.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is for people who have been laid off as a result of foreign trade, and include some aviation related jobs.

In the area, people who have lost their jobs from the list of 24 companies may qualify for this program. (See list below)

TAA helps people with opportunities to obtain credentials, resources and support necessary to build skills for future jobs.

“There are jobs available outside of aviation but you need a certain skill set and the TAA program, we have another program for laid off workers here at the Workforce Center, we can help people get those skills to get back on the workforce,” said Keith Lawing, presidet and CEO of the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas.

He added, “Anytime that there’s an economic disruption, and individuals get laid off, our services come in play. Unless you’re in a job search mode all the time, you don’t typically know about us.”

To learn more about the TAA Program, click here.

To learn more about the programs offered at the Workfoce Center of South Central Kansas, click here.

List of companies: Textron Aviation, Exacta Aerospace, Center Industries Corporation, The Boeing Company, SBM Site Services LLC, Arconic, Axiom Engineering, Cox Machine Inc, Atlas Aerospace LLC, Schenker Inc, Spirit AeroSystems Inc, Prysmian Cables and Systems USA LLC, Leased Workers from PDS Tech Inc and MSB Global Resources, Learjet Inc, Ernst & Young LLP, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp, National Credit Adjusters LLC, AT&T Communications, Daymon Worldwide Inc, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Inc, Via Christi Hospitals Wichita Inc, Aero-Mach Labs Inc, Seat King LLC, NetApp Inc

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