A deal meant to keep 4,000 jobs in Wichita over the next 10 years was reached on Tuesday.

A deal meant to keep 4,000 jobs in Wichita over the next 10 years was reached on Tuesday.

An agreement between the State of Kansas and Hawker Beechcraft was announced by Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson.

“As the general aviation industry continues to recover from the economic recession, this agreement is a great victory for our state as it stabilizes Hawker Beechcraft’s long-term presence in Wichita and provides some security to thousands of employees in uncertain times,” Parkinson said.

The state will provide a $40 million incentive package as part of the IMPACT program through the Kansas Department of Commerce.

The City of Wichita and Sedgwick County also agreed, in principle, to provide $2.5 million each over the course of the next five years.

“This is a significant moment for Wichita as we work to keep our great city the Air Capital of the World,” said Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.

The deal requires Hawker Beechcraft to keep its current product lines in Wichita as well as retaining at least 4,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

That boded well for Kansas Gov.-elect Sam Brownback, who has touted the need for economic growth and jobs in Kansas since prior to the November General Election.

“I am committed to defending the Kansas aviation industry from other states and nations which have their sights on it and will fight fire with fire when necessary to ensure its continued success,” Brownback said. “Growing the Kansas aviation industry is a priority for our administration and one of the key goals of the Road Map for Kansas.”

Hawker Beechcraft will receive $10 million in the first year and $5 million in each of the next four years as part of the Major Project Reinvestment (MPI) portion of the IMPACT program. Those funds can be used for expenses related to the project such as purchase or relocation of equipment, product development, labor recruitment, or building costs.

The deal also includes $10 million over three years for tuition reimbursement and training as part of the State of Kansas Investments in Lifelong Learning (SKILL).

That rang as music to the ears of Kansas Board of Regents’ Chairman Gary Sherrer, of Overland Park.

“We’re pleased that a key component of the incentive package was tuition reimbursement, as it underscores the critical role higher education plays in not only attracting new businesses to the state but also in retaining Kansas businesses,” Sherrer said.

The positive messages even reached as far as Washington, D.C. as Kansas Senator-elect Jerry Moran praised the deal on Tuesday afternoon.

“Hawker’s commitment to remain in Wichita is good news for thousands of Kansas workers during these difficult economic times,” Moran said. “The aviation industry is a vital part of our state’s economy and this decision will not only strengthen our economy, but also lead to a better trained and equipped workforce.”

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140