WATC to host Wichita's first-ever National Manufacturing Day, Congressman Pompeo to speak, 200 high school students to attend

Friday, October 4, 2013  |  Featured speakers from 9–9:30 a.m.  |  Lab demonstrations from 9:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. WATC’s main campus, the National Center for Aviation Training, at 4004 N. Webb Rd. For media inquiries, please contact Joe Ontjes at 316-677-1850 For immediate release: Wichita, Kan. –  Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) will host Wichita’s inaugural participation in National Manufacturing Day on October 4, 2013. The event will bring more than 200 students and educators from Wichita Public Schools for a day of hands-on participation and exploration at WATC’s main campus, the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT). Scheduled speakers include Congressman Mike Pompeo; Jim Means — Wichita Public Schools Executive Director, Career and Technical Education; Joe Ontjes — WATC Vice President of Marketing and Student Services; and a staff member from the Kansas Board of Regents. Following 30 minutes with the speakers, students will experience eight different Career and Technical Education (CTE) exploration stations including welding, machining, robotics, aviation manufacturing and more. The hope is that students will catch a glimpse of what a manufacturing career is all about.

“Some people get it wrong when they picture a job in manufacturing,” said Joe Ontjes, Vice President of Marketing and Student Services at WATC. “One goal for this event is to help students discover the true nature of a high-tech, high-demand and high-wage career opportunity in manufacturing.”

Nationally, Manufacturing Day seeks to addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers and educators an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after Manufacturing Day, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry. Click here to visit the Manufacturing Day website. WATC aims to provide students with the skills and training necessary to land a job and meet employer hiring demand. In May 2013, WATC was nationally recognized as “Manufacturers Endorsed” by the Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Kansas’ need for skilled workers is a priority of Governor Sam Brownback, whose Career and Technical Education Act encourages high school students to take eligible college-level courses without paying any tuition. Students can choose from dozens of options including Welding, Robotics, Machining, and others. This fall, Wichita Public Schools and other nearby districts have enrolled hundreds of high school students in free technical education classes taught by WATC. The National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) is an ideal location to explore the future opportunities for manufacturing and technology. Located at 4004 N Webb Road, the 220,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility features top-notch equipment for providing industry-focused skills and training.

WATC is emerging as a national leader via the National Aviation Consortium. NAC is a $14.9 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to develop industry-standard aviation manufacturing training curricula. WATC was chosen to facilitate and lead the project which includes colleges in five states. Through the partnership of the five colleges and the Manufacturing Institute, six aviation-endorsed certifications will be developed. With more than 75 programs of study in Aviation, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Design, Business and Police Science as well as transferable college Gen Ed courses such as math, history and speech.

Wichita Area Technical College
4004 N Webb Rd
Wichita, Kansas, 67226
Phone: 316-677-9400