Cowley College

Cowley UpskillU informational sessions held at Downtown Center

February 10, 2020

On Wednesday, February 5 Cowley College hosted a series of informational/enrollment sessions at their Wichita Downtown Center.

A team comprised of representatives from Cowley admission, financial aid, workforce & community education, and selected programs were on hand, promoting the college’s UpskillU campaign designed to provide a rapid training response specifically targeting anyone affected by current or pending unemployment.

Several local employers were also on hand to discuss job openings, accept applications, and offer interviews. Local employers included Creekstone Farms, JetAirWerks, Galaxy Technologies, and Sedgwick Correctional Facility.

Cowley promoted all the short term programs, certificates and industry credentials available in Cowley UpskillU and has established a $20,000 scholarship pool.

Dr. Tina Grillot, Cowley College associate vice president for workforce and community education, worked for Ford Motor Company as a skilled-trades machine repairman during the automotive crisis in early 2000’s.

“After a series of layoffs, Ford Motor closed my plant in 2008, laying off what remained of their 3,200 employees,” Dr. Grillot said. “I am not just a witness, but an example of what happens to a community when a large segment of the workforce losses their livelihood. People inevitably have to look further away from home to find comparable pay. Neighborhoods start sprouting for-sale signs, discretionary spending decreases causing a ripple effect on local businesses. The Ford layoff completely changed my hometown. Many of those either directly or indirectly effected by Spirit’s recent layoff live in Cowley Tiger country. Our communities will unfortunately be locally affected by the employment downturn.”

With this mindset, Dr. Grillot reached out to Cowley’s Workforce & Community Education employer partners in Cowley and Sumner counties, inviting everyone who was hiring to attend the UpskillU event in Wichita. Asking those partners faced with their own layoffs due to the trickle-down effect of Spirit AeroSystem’s announcement, to share Cowley College’s invitation to attend the UpskillU event with their employees.

For more information about opportunities pertaining to Cowley UpskillU contact admissions at or call 800-593-2222.