WICHITA, Kan. – An upstart aviation repair station and material sales company is already giving back to the region in which it operates. Jet AirWerks, LLC and Jet AirParts, LLC, founded in Arkansas City in 2007 and 2011, awarded a $2,000 scholarship for aviation training this week with another $2,000 on the way. The company’s intent is to encourage the next generation of skilled aviation workers in this region.
At a ceremony on August 26, Keith Humphrey, president and CEO of both companies, presented the $2,000 award to Thomas Stowe, an Aviation Maintenance Technology student at WATC. The Jet AirWerks and Jet AirParts Aviation Scholarship was donated to and awarded from the WATC Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) entity which exists to support the educational objectives of the college.
Humphrey said he left Florida to launch his MRO, component repair and aviation material sales company in Kansas because of the strong aviation workforce in this region. He said he wants to do his part to keep talent in the region and that partnering with WATC is a good investment in workforce development.
“This is the most skilled aviation base in the country,” Humphrey said. “There is no place like central Kansas for skilled labor in aviation and we rely on places like WATC for training. We give scholarships at community and technical colleges like WATC because there’s no better way to give back.”
Stowe, the recipient of the scholarship, holds a 3.9 GPA in WATC’s prestigious Aviation Maintenance Technology program. He said the scholarship will make a big difference for him.
“College is a lot more expensive these days,” Stowe said. “Even with financial aid, I still had a balance and this helps cover it. I can pay for college faster with less debt,” he said.
With help from Humphrey’s companies and others who support the WATC Foundation, more and more students are being prepared by WATC to counter the coming “silver tsunami” of aviation industry retirements while also fueling growth at companies like Jet AirWerks and Jet AirParts.
For more information about the WATC Foundation, visit watc.edu/foundation or call 316-677-9505.
WATC is a Kansas Board of Regents institution and the state’s leader in modern technical education, offering 100 programs of study in aviation, healthcare, manufacturing, design and business. WATC serves as managing partner of the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) in Wichita.