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Hope for laid-off aviation workers

Published On: Apr 23 2014 10:41:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 10:49:57 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

Stacy Sebastian has escaped several layoffs in her fifteen years at Cessna, until now.  She says it was a good run, but she's tired of the ups and downs of aviation.

"It's just been a roller coaster," Sebastian says.  "I'm grateful for Cessna every day that I spent there."

A mother of five, Sebastian has been working toward a degree at Wichita Area Technical College, hoping to get a job in interior design--maybe for aircraft, maybe not.

Whether laid-off workers such as Sebastian decide to change careers or stay in aviation, the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas' Keith Lawing says these laid-off workers should be hopeful.

"There's never a good time to be laid off, but compared to what we were looking at four years ago, the Wichita economy is much stronger than it was back in 2009 and 2010," Lawing says.

Unlike general aviation, Lawing says the commercial aviation sector is strong right now.  That's evident by Spirit Aerosystems announcing 250 openings today.  Some of the Cessna and Beech workers could go there, or they could find opportunities in other industries.  Lawing says it's possible the same company that laid them off may once again add jobs before long.

Meanwhile, Sebastian says she's looking forward to something new.

"I'm going to keep going, going to keep pushing forward with my education and see if that will hopefully pay off in the end."

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