In the News

Farnborough 2022: Moran says Kansas has new opportunity to compete on workforce
Daniel McCoy | Wichita Business Journal

Fresh off a visit to London for the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., says his state — and especially the Wichita area — offers a potential solution to what he heard as the industry’s biggest challenge.

“The most common concern … is workforce,” Moran says. “We have a lot we can offer.”

Moran says labor continues to come up in his conversations with manufacturers, including those this week at the airshow.

But with some geographic regions that were re-location hotspots in recent years now proving difficult from a talent-pool standpoint, he thinks Kansas and Wichita could be at a competitive advantage as the industry hopes for a sustained post-Covid rebound.

The more companies now that can be shown the education and workforce ecosystem in the local region, he believes, the higher the likelihood that even more aerospace will land here.

And that includes all sectors of the industry, he says, noting recent increases locally in defense and space work.

At Farnborough, Moran says there was noticeable enthusiasm among participants to be back on the airshow circuit after three years off due to the pandemic.

And the Air Capital and Kansas were better represented at the show than before.

Moran says the contingent led by the Greater Wichita Partnership was the largest delegation Kansas has taken to Farnborough.

That equates even more voices to tell the international industry about what Wichita can offer.

And for a business now scrambling again for the talent to meet expected demand, that could translate to opportunity.

“That’s really valuable for Wichita and Kansas,” he said of the show attendance. “It shows that south-central Kansas cares about doing international business as it relates to aerospace.”