- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita organization wants to help offset some costs to encourage more people to move to the area for jobs.

The Wichita Community Foundation announced its partnership Monday with WSU Tech to create Wichita Promise MOVE. The program will pay housing, transportation and other expenses for students who want to move to Wichita to train for certain high-demand jobs, the Wichita Eagle reported .

The foundation plans to invest $1 million to create the Talent Ecosystem Fund. The fund will be invested in workforce issues, talent development and lifelong learning. An initial grant of $500,000 will go to WSU Tech, formerly Wichita Area Technical College.

The initiative comes three years after the foundation hired analyst and Wichita native James Chung to look at the city’s strengths, problems and potential. Chung previously said more people are moving out of Wichita than moving in, which could have a negative effect on the city.

Wichita must fundamentally change its approach to growth, otherwise the city’s decades-long stagnation will continue, Chung said Monday.

“The market is saying very clearly that the Wichita way is not working,” he said.

The only WSU Tech program eligible for the initiative this fall will be aviation sheet metal mechanic, said Andy McFayden, university spokesman. The initiative will also accelerate the two-year-old Wichita Promise Scholarship program and allow the school to recruit students from other areas who may be intimidated by the cost of moving to Wichita, said Sheree Utash, WSU Tech president.

Utash said the money will allow the school “to create some innovative strategies to create the workforce that this community badly needs.”


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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