Based on urgent needs of Spirit Aerosystems, the Academic and Employer Services Divisions jointly initiated several series of ongoing two week refresher courses in Aircraft Sheet Metal for prospective Spirit employees in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The course uses various elements of the new National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Aerostructures curriculum, combining online training with ‘hands on’ learning experience in the lab.
Denise Sherman, Director in Employer Services, and Ron Ragon, Instructional Designer in Academics, cooperated to lead this major support effort for Spirit AeroSystems, the largest employer client of WATC. In a coordinated effort, Wichita Spirit Training staff supported the transfer of tools and supplies to Tulsa supplemented by the organizational and instructional expertise of WATC personnel.
Three weeks prior to moving from Ohio to Kansas, new Adjunct Instructor Jim Cross drove to Wichita to complete his hiring paperwork and then immediately proceeded to Tulsa for a successful initial course delivery. 93% of the participants achieved passing scores on the final project – resulting in job offers from Spirit. Dawn Brown drove to Tulsa and assisted with the final two days of the first class. While Jim then completed his move from Ohio, Richard “Red” Williams and Jeff Taylor, Embedded Trainers in the Employer Services Division, stepped up and kicked off the second class in Tulsa. Further classes are scheduled throughout the summer.
This ongoing effort has also been facilitated through the efforts of Kent Irick, Dawn Brown, Carla Hensley, Frank Wilson, Lance Rudman, Jim Hall, Willie Daniels, Michelle Ruder and Jim Fly.
Spirit Aerosystems is reimbursing WATC for the staff and instructor salaries and the costs of the services provided. One Spirit Aerosystems executive stated, “When needs arose in our Tulsa operation, we evaluated the potential solutions and concluded that WATC was the only organization who had the skills needed to help us.”