Meetings begin for laid-off aviation workers

WICHITA, Kansas –  The Workforce Centers of South Central Kansas began hosting informational meetings this week for workers laid-off from Learjet or Textron Aviation.

The center is hosting meetings at the National Center for Aviation Training at 4004 N. Webb road.

On Monday, it was the first day for special meeting.

The workshops last about an hour and a half.

Benefits available include job search and relocation assistance, as well as paid education or retraining opportunities.

The workshops last about an hour and a half.

Joe Kennedy was one who attended.

He says he devoted nearly 35 years to Beechcraft, which is now owned by Textron.

“I think it was kind of eminent, but again, it’s after a long career. It kind of takes your breath away.”

Kennedy says he’s already attended seminars for Textron four to five days a week, but now, he joins hundreds in search of more help.

The goal is starting over.

“I haven’t had to apply for a job for like 35 years, so I’m trying to figure out how to go about doing these things.”

The State Workforce Agency is doing the training for qualified workers.

Those laid-off from Cessna, Beechcraft, and Learjet between January and February of this year and contracted workers.

Through a week long workshop, former employees are matched with a case manager on the spot to go over benefits and job training options.

For Kennedy, the instant access is a plus making it easier to get back on his feet.

“It’s information and any bits of information is better than word of mouth and friends and people like that.”

Five informational meetings for laid-off Textron Aviation workers will be held at the following times:

  • Tuesday, June 3, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Three informational meetings for laid-off Learjet workers will be held at the following times:

  • Tuesday, June 3 at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 4 at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Workers unable to attend a meeting should visit a Workforce Center at their earliest convenience, and bring a driver’s license, social security card and layoff letter to enroll in programs.

To find Workforce Center locations, visit

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