Advanced technical training available through GOCAT
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 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 provides advanced, hands-on manufacturing training to individuals – from high school age through adulthood – who are looking to expand their skills in a technical field. Major manufacturers of our area, such as Leonardo DRS, AHF Products, Caterpillar, and L & R Industries helped develop the training programs to benefit manufacturers of all sizes.
Degrees and certificates
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Technology, with options in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy, Advanced Industrial Maintenance and Technology Management, is available to students through a combination of seated, blended, online and laboratory courses. They are approved by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and, for the eligible student, are fully approved for federal and state financial aid programs. Each of the options within the AAS degree is also offered as stand-alone certificate programs. Certificates offered are appropriate for students interested in improving job skills and opportunities in manufacturing and technical fields and can generally be obtained in less than one year.
Skills you will learn as a student
Courses offered within the degree and certificate programs cover electronics and electricity, machining, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs), controllers, robotics, hydraulics, welding and more. They will help you develop specific skill sets for the following options:
- Advanced Manufacturing Technician: Welding, automated manufacturing, materials and processes
- Alternative Energy: Electricity, electronics, biofuels, solar and wind energy
- Advanced Industrial Maintenance: Industry 4.0; automated systems; PLC's; Industrial Controls
- Technology Management: Safety, supply chain, quality and project management
Students who successfully complete training could find jobs as manufacturing technicians, maintenance repair technicians, electronics technicians and solar panel technicians. Employment in these job sectors in south-central Missouri is expected to grow by 8.5 percent by 2022 with 28.5 percent coming from new growth. Average salary is $40,108. Top employers and industry partners are Leonardo DRS, AHF Products, Perennial Energy, Caterpillar, Arlee, L & R Industries and Missouri Sun Solar.