WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State University has formed a partnership with an engineering services company from India that officials hope will eventually create new jobs and avoid major layoffs in the aerospace industry.
John Tomblin, the director of the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State, told The Wichita Eagle that the agreement with global information technology firm Tech Mahindra is unusual, and by no means simple.
The company provides engineering services to aerospace companies and plans to expand in Wichita using the university’s labs, services, researchers and students. Tech Mahindra wants a bigger presence in the United States, Tomblin said.
“They chose us,” Tomblin said. “And now we’re going to collaborate to grow hundreds of new engineering jobs here.”
Under the agreement, the company will work with Wichita State and NIAR on projects and train new engineers for aerospace and the automotive industries.
The company will help WSU train engineers, who will then live in the city and work for Tech Mahindra doing projects for local companies, university officials said. That would include work in composite materials manufacturing, advanced materials, aircraft certification, and structural testing.
Tech Mahindra is not an Indian company coming to Wichita “to take away American jobs,” Tomblin said. “They plan to do the opposite,” and create economic stability for the area and the workers, he said.
Tech Mahindra is the information technology division of the much larger Mahindra group, which was founded in India just after World War II. The larger group makes military equipment, owns vacation resorts and a chain of maternity clothing stores. Its smaller division of Tech Mahindra employs 89,000 people in 51 countries, and serves 629 corporate customers, according to the company.
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