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September 23rd, 2023

ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The Kansas Department of Commerce has been keeping busy lately, and some new funding could help the state’s workforce. 

Monday, the Kansas Department of Commerce announced $30 million will be made available under the Aviation Learning Opportunities & Funded Training (ALOFT) and Delivering Residents and Workforce (DRAW) grant programs. 

“The ALOFT program will provide $20 million in funding for training development and expansions requiring new job opportunities in the aviation and aerospace industry. The DRAW program will provide $10 million in funding for training development for high demand employers, such as healthcare, education, technology-based, and entities working with persons with disabilities,” Monday’s release from the State of Kansas noted. “A priority for the DRAW program is to increase new residents from out-of-state. The funds were designated by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee and approved by the State Finance Council in December.”

“The state’s unprecedented surge in new economic opportunities for businesses is creating next-generation jobs and careers for Kansans,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland noted in Monday’s State of Kansas release. “These new funding sources will allow targeted investments in people that align with the needs of Kansas companies, while also growing our talented workforce by attracting more people to the state. ALOFT applications can include construction costs for on-site training facilities, vendor training on machinery and equipment, supervisor and management salaries directly related to training, marketing and activities to encourage youth participation in aviation and aerospace careers, and participation costs in the Kansas Registered Apprenticeship and Workforce AID programs. Awardees will have two years to complete their projects and utilize all awarded funds.”

Eligible ALOFT applicants include:

• Aviation and aerospace manufacturers

• Supply chain manufacturers that provide services, equipment and manufacturing for eligible aviation and aerospace manufacturers

• Locally and city-owned airports.

“DRAW applications can include construction of on-site training facilities, vendor training costs, machinery and equipment used solely for training, course development costs, and marketing and attraction costs to attract talent to Kansas,” the State of Kansas release noted. “Awardees will have two years to complete their projects and utilize all awarded funds.”

Eligible DRAW applicants include:

• Mobile workforce training providers

• Healthcare providers

• Education providers

• Technology-based businesses

• Employers working with the blind, visually, or hearing impaired, or persons with disabilities

• Employers hiring for positions determined as “high demand and high wage” from the Kansas Department of Labor.

The ALOFT and DRAW grant applications both opened Monday, with submissions closing at 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 24 for both programs. Applicants can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any questions regarding this funding opportunity.


About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in 2021 and 2022, and was awarded the 2021 and 2022 Governor’s Cup by Site Selection Magazine.