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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Support the Manufacturing Industry in Wichita, Kansas

Mar 25, 2019

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Wichita State University (WSU) of Wichita, Kansas, to purchase equipment needed to support regional manufacturing growth and training. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 150 jobs.

“The Trump Administration continues to rebuild the American manufacturing sector in communities across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This investment will help Wichita State University spur new manufacturing ventures in the region while training workers to support this resurgent industry.”

“Wichita State University is doing great things for the Wichita economy – and the Kansas workforce,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Their innovative, entrepreneurial approach to education is strengthening our state, one partnership at a time. We are working together to develop resources and infrastructure to support the advanced manufacturing industry, to keep up with technology in order to maximize production and the skills needed in the workforce to provide local employers a competitive advantage in the global economy.”

“Wichita State continues to be a shining example of how public-private partnerships can provide students with hands-on learning experiences while bolstering communities,” said Senator Moran. “Wichita’s continued emphasis on shaping and designing an education platform to align with 21st Century workforce needs is critical as we work to continue fueling the manufacturing and aviation industries. The EDA grant will support the purchase of necessary advanced manufacturing equipment, and, in turn, create over 150 new jobs in the region. As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee which funds the EDA, I will continue to highlight the strengths of our Universities and industries within the state, allowing them to capitalize on these opportunities.”

“It’s great to see Wichita State University receiving this grant, created after we passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) “There’s no better place than our very own air capital of the world, for the technical training and manufacturing jobs this grant will help create.”

“Wichita State is a leader in education and workforce development,” said Congressman Ron Estes. “Today’s announcement reinforces their commitment to our manufacturing industries and provides a catalyst for growth in this area thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s Opportunity Zones. I’m grateful for the Trump administration and Secretary Ross for recognizing WSU and Wichita as a worthy recipient of this grant funding.”

This investment will help purchase necessary advanced manufacturing equipment to establish the Automated Technology Laboratory for Advanced Structures (ATLAS) at WSU. The ATLAS initiative at WSU will help industry leaders in the region increase the quality and production of commercial and defense aircraft. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD). EDA funds the SCKEDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The funding announced today goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which means even greater investment incentives for private sector participation.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.