June 7, 2018

Aviation Pathway, an innovative, new high school aviation curriculum proposal, was announced by Wichita Public Schools and WSU Tech at the Textron Aviation Citation Longitude line. If the program is approved, it would be Kansas’ first aviation technical education pathway and allow high school students to receive their high school diploma and technical certificate at graduation, creating the potential for immediate employment within the aviation industry.

“We applaud the leadership of Wichita Public Schools and WSU Tech along with the interest and support of the Kansas State Department of Education,” said Jim Walters, senior vice president of human resources at Textron Aviation.

“With educators and business working together, this new program will match industry needs and students with knowledge and career opportunities,” he added. “We have been impressed with how responsive and thoughtful Wichita Public Schools and WSU Tech have been. They have accomplished in weeks and months what could require years.”

The Aviation Pathway program would have two paths – aviation production and aviation maintenance – each featuring sub-sections for students to choose from to allow them to specialize their training. The program comes at a time when there is increasing demand for workers with the skills and training to succeed in aviation.

It is expected that thousands of jobs in advanced aviation manufacturing will be available in Kansas during the next five years, especially with increased production as the number of employees eligible to retire continues to increase. The fact that business aviation produces thousands of high-skills, high-paying jobs is central to the No Plane No Gain campaign.

There are plans to expand the program to other districts, and full implementation is expected to be complete for the 2019-2020 school year.