Sedgwick County understands the importance of aviation manufacturing and innovation and is committed to the industry’s success. The local aviation industry employs 40,000 people and another 142,350 jobs are supported by aviation either directly or indirectly. Between 2008 and 2013, 40 percent of the aviation manufacturing workforce will be eligible to retire, creating the need for more skilled workers. To meet the anticipated increase in skilled-worker demand, Sedgwick County built the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT), where students are trained to work in the existing industry, as well as research and develop new products and methods related to aviation.
Between 2007 and 2010, Sedgwick County managed the planning and construction phases of NCAT. The center’s tenant and managing partner Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) coordinates student admissions and enrollment services, as well as program, class and faculty development. Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), a globally recognized leader in aviation and composite research, also provides training and business-approved instruction.