Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT)

Governor Endorses GOCAT Cooperation

In an effort to bring advanced technical training to area residents, Missouri State University-West Plains, the South Central Career Center and the City of West Plains have joined forces to develop the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT). Through GOCAT, residents can complete degree and certificate programs in technology or participate in customized training opportunities.

The Center is intended to provide advanced, hands-on manufacturing training to individuals, from high school age through adulthood, who are looking to expand their skills in a technical field. Emphasis areas of training include manufacturing technology, alternative energy and technology management. These degrees are designed to match the skills needed by employers to fill high-wage, high-skill positions in a growth industries.

The degree programs are approved by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and, for the eligible student, are fully approved for federal and state financial aid programs.

Major manufacturers of our area, such as DRS Technologies, Armstrong Flooring and Caterpillar, helped develop the training programs to benefit manufacturers of all sizes.

Subject Area

Courses offered within the degree and certificate programs include electronics and electricity, machining, CAD/CAM, PLC’s, controllers, robotics, hydraulics, welding and more. Graduates will be ready to pursue entry-level careers in various industries and occupations such as electrician technician; installation, maintenance and repair worker; welder; electronics technician; robotics programmer; millwright and many other opportunities.

Employment in these job sectors in South Central Missouri is expected to grow by 8.5% by 2022 with 28.5% coming from new growth. Average salary is $40,108. Top employers and industry partners are DRS Technologies, Armstrong, Perennial Energy, Caterpillar, Arlee, Regal and Missouri Sun Solar.

Customized Training

Missouri State-West Plains has a wide variety of programs and courses to improve productivity in business and industry. Our Workplace Employability Skills certificate provides the opportunity for students to develop interpersonal skills, problem-solving, ethical decision making and communication skills. Additional programs in leadership, computer applications and customer service are just a sampling of other training we can provide.


For more information on tuition and fees for one of the academic programs, contact the admission office. Financial aid may be available. If you have a group of employees to train or a particular challenge for your business, contact Project Director Sheila Barton for more information. We offer value-added, affordable training customized for your needs.

Associate's Degree

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Technology, with options in Alternative Energy, Manufacturing Technology and Technology Management, are available to students through a combination of seated, blended, online and laboratory courses. These programs are offered through the Ozarks Regional Partnership for Education and Training (ORPET), a collaborative program between the South Central Career Center and Missouri State University-West Plains.


Each of the options within the AAS degree, Alternative Energy, Manufacturing Technology and Technology Management, are also offered as stand-alone certificate programs. The courses in these certificates may also be used to complete the AAS in Technology. Certificates offered are appropriate for students interested in improving job skills and opportunities in manufacturing and technical fields. Certificates generally can be obtained in less than one year.

Skills you’ll learn as a student:

  • Alternative Energy: Electricity, electronics, biofuels, solar and wind energy
  • Manufacturing Technology: Welding, automated manufacturing, materials and processes
  • Technology Management: Safety, supply chain, quality and project management


  • Manufacturing technicians – Set up and operate production equipment in accordance with good manufacturing practices and standard operating procedures; calibrate or adjust equipment to ensure quality productions, using tools such as calipers and micrometers; set up and verify the functionality of safety equipment; and troubleshooting, analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Production, planning and expediting – Distribute production schedules or work orders to departments; review documents, such as production schedules, work orders or staffing, to determine personnel or material requirements; requisition and maintain inventories of supplies; arrange for delivery, assembly or distribution of supplies.
  • Maintenance repair technician – Inspect, operate or test machinery or equipment to diagnose machine malfunctions; dismantle machines, equipment or devices to access and remove defective parts; perform routine maintenance such as inspecting drives, motors or belts, checking fluid levels, replacing filers or doing other preventative maintenance actions; diagnose mechanical problems and determine how to correct them, checking blueprints, repair manuals or parts catalogs, as necessary; repair machines, equipment or structures, using tools such as hammers, hoists, saws, drills, wrenches, or equipment such as precision measuring instruments and electrical/electronic testing devices.

Career development assistance is available. Classes start August 2016. For more information or to enroll, contact the admissions office at (417) 255-7955 or at

GOCAT Facility

  • Located at 125 N. Howell Avenue
  • Approximately 16,000 sq. feet
  • Four classrooms; Computer Lab, Community Conference Room and Fab Lab
  • Large shop area with 6 bay doors
  • Opening Fall 2016