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Kansas agencies form taskforce to respond to aviation layoffs

Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 10:51 AM CST
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The State of Kansas, City of Wichita, several local and state agencies, and federal lawmakers met at the Workforce Alliance Center on Wednesday afternoon to outline how they plan to help employees affected by the recent suspension of the 737 Max

Last Friday, Spirit Aerosystems announced 2,800 layoffs set to begin Jan. 22 as a result of the suspended program. We learned at least 300 employees of Spirit suppliers would also be impacted.

Fourteen organizations will participate in the aerospace taskforce: the City of Wichita, the Greater Wichita Partnership, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Department of Labor, the Office of United States Representative Ron Estes, the Office of United States Senator Jerry Moran, the Office of United States Senator Pat Roberts, Sedgwick County, the State of Kansas, the United Way of the Plains, the Wichita Community Foundation, the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Wichita State University/National Institute for Aviation Research, the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas and WSU Tech.

Nearly a dozen companies have contacted the Workforce Alliance Center with an interest in hiring from the work pool of laid-off workers.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said while the situation isn't ideal it may present some new opportunities.

"Some people might see it as an opportunity to go back to school, to go into a different career, or just come here and look for something temporary to get through this until Spirit is back," he said.

Next week, the aerospace taskforce will launch a website with a full list of job postings, information about upcoming job fairs, and unemployment benefits.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Department of Labor launched a webpage for aviation employees who may soon find themselves out of work. You can find those resources here:

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