WSU Tech ready to help Integra hire nearly 2,000 people in the coming years
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -Nearly 2,000 new jobs could soon add to Wichita’s workforce after employee-owned Integra Technologies announced its plan to build a new plant Thursday.
The technology company’s plan to expand would bring close to 2,000 new jobs to Wichita. WSU Tech is already in touch with the semiconductor manufacturer.
“It’s a whole new world for us,” President Dr. Sheree Utash said. “This is not any kind of work that we've done. We do a lot of advanced manufacturing, but semiconductor training and the building of chips is gonna be a new area of growth.”
Utash said the school is “super busy” after Integra’s announcement and Panasonic’s announcement, last year, that it is building a new plant near Kansas City.
“We know that we can build programs, and we know that we can meet those workforce needs at every single level that they're going to be needing from GED to Ph.D.,” she said.
Integra plans to hire a wide range of people from experienced engineers to those with a high school diploma or GED for entry-level positions. Experts told KAKE News the new plant will diversify Wichita’s workforce.
“We also have people that have left aerospace that might want to do another manufacturing,” Jeremy Hill, Director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research in Wichita, said. “They have the skills with some training they could go back and do that, which gives them some flexibility and more adaptability into it.”
Integra makes semiconductors, some tied to defense, which Hill said will complement Wichita’s aerospace industry. President of the Greater Wichita Partnership Jeff Fluhr said this is a “dynamic time” to live in the area.
“It’s all tied together on the expertise that we have available in our talent,” Fluhr said. “What we educate, who we educate as far as engineering in our universities, technical college.”
Integra’s plans to build this new plant are contingent on the company receiving federal CHIPS act funding. WSU Tech would also receive money from this to build out its own programs.