Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, to purchase key tools and supplies to support the new Flight Test Research Center and a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility for the National Institute for Aviation Research. This EDA project, to be matched with $222,219 in local funds, is expected to create 75 jobs and retain 7 jobs.
“President Biden is dedicated to supporting communities in creating new opportunities to expand regional industries,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will advance new technologies and increase resiliency by enabling the regional aviation industry cluster to more efficiently and effectively pivot operations to address current and future changes in the aviation industry.”
“The Economic Development Administration supports community-led initiatives to increase and diversify regional economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project is expected to produce new products and market opportunities that will allow companies to create jobs, improving the regional economy.”
“Here in Kansas, our aviation sector is essential to our economy, employing thousands of skilled workers and supporting more than 450 industry suppliers and service providers,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “I want to thank Secretary Raimondo and the U.S. Department of Commerce for their support, which will strengthen our aviation sector for future generations of Kansans and further cement Wichita’s reputation as the ‘Air Capital of the World.’”
“Wichita State’s recently established Flight Test Research Center and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility is bringing new and exciting opportunities to Kansas,” said Senator Jerry Moran. “This investment by the Economic Development Administration will further its capabilities, establish more first-hand learning opportunities for students and bring additional jobs to the area.”
“Continued investment in the National Institute for Aviation Research’s new Flight Test Research Facility and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility will provide vital support to the aviation and manufacturing industries both in Kansas and across the country,” said Senator Roger Marshall. “This grant from the Economic Development Administration will provide the tools and supplies needed to advance these facilities at NIAR, create jobs, and support new opportunities in and around Wichita.”
“WSU’s NIAR has already proven to be a leader in aviation research, training and testing,” said Congressman Ron Estes (KS-04). “By investing in our aviation industry, our region will continue growing as the Air Capital of the World strives for innovation and excellence.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD). EDA funds 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.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.