GOCAT 2019 News Stories

CNA Training Program to Begin Sept. 30 at Missouri State-West Plains

Sept. 10, 2019

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Officials with the nursing program at Missouri State University-West Plains will offer an eight-week certified nursing assistant (CNA) training program beginning Sept. 30 at Missouri State University-West Plains. The program will meet in Looney Hall Room 001.

 

The CNA training program is a non-credit course designed to provide training and clinical experience in the healthcare field. It will include eight weeks of lecture, lab and clinical instruction. The program offers many benefits:

 

            • the convenience of short-term evening classes;

            • specialized training from licensed instructors with professional experience;

            • a small class environment;

            • and many career options upon successful completion.

 

Job placement assistance will be available for those who successfully complete the program, as well. The training costs $1,432 per person and includes books and materials such as scrubs, a watch, blood pressure cuff and stethoscope. It also includes an examination fee and the costs of a background check, tuberculosis test and drug screening. Funding options are available.

 

Applicants must be 18 years or older prior to the first day of class, have a high school diploma or equivalent, the ability to lift 50-plus pounds without restriction, and pass a criminal background check and drug screening.

 

For more information about the program or to register, contact Sheila Barton, manager of workforce development, at 417-255-7784 or sheilabarton@missouristate.edu. For more information about Missouri State-West Plains and its academic programs, visit www.wp.missouristate.edu or call the admissions office at 417-255-7955. 

 

Missouri State University-West Plains empowers students to achieve personal success and to enrich their local and global communities by providing accessible, affordable and quality educational opportunities. Missouri State-West Plains offers associate degrees and credit and non-credit courses, and serves as a delivery site for bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered by Missouri State University in Springfield. 


August 2019 Newsletter


VOL. 1, ISSUE 2

Fall News and Events

Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology

About Us

The Greater Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) is a partnership between Missouri State University West Plains, South Central Career Center and the City of West Plains designed to bring advanced technological training to area residents…

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Ventures in Art

Art Donation

The Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) recently received a lovely donation of artwork from the “Ventures in Art” group in West Plains. Last winter, the group, who meets at the First Christian Church, needed a place to meet weekly while the church was undergoing renovation….

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Missouri Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Program Updates

Missouri State University-West Plains began a registered apprenticeship program Spring semester, 2019 with two company sponsors, Leonardo DRS and Jasper Engines and Transmissions, and three apprentices.

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GOCAT Events

Event Calendar

August 1st             Technology Showcase @ GOCAT
August 13th           SCHRA Bi-monthly Meeting
August 19th           MSU-WP Fall 2019 Classes Begin

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Missouri State University West Plains

Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT)
395 Jackie D. Garrett Drive, West Plains, MO 65775
(417) 255-7784
gocat.wp.missouristate.edu/

GOCAT equips workforce in West Plains with needed tech skills


By Michele Skalicky-Aug 15, 2019

A program in West Plains, designed to make sure regional employers have the trained employees they need and to help area residents earn a living wage, continues to evolve.

GOCAT, or the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology, a program of Missouri State University-West Plains, the South Central Career Center and the City of West Plains, was started five years ago. 

According to Sheila Barton, GOCAT’s director of workforce development, manufacturers in the region, including DRS Technologies, Armstrong Flooring, Regal and Caterpillar, have been their driving force.

"They need certain types of skills within their industries," she said.  "DRS, for example, they are planning a large expansion over the next year.  They'll be hiring over 100, so there's all different areas.  It's industrial maintenance, it's manufacturing technicians, it's fabrication, it's welding.  It's just a variety of trades that will be a part of this."

GOCAT was created before Robertshaw, which employed around 400 people, left the area.  After the layoffs, GOCAT moved into its own 16,000-square-foot building and started expanding the programs it offers.

GOCAT trains approximately 30 individuals a year, according to Barton.  Degrees and certificates offered include An Associate of Applied Science in Technology with options in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy and Technology Management.  Those are also offered as stand-alone certificate programs.  There are also customized training opportunities available.

Barton said they’ve ventured out into apprenticeship programs with their industry partners and will continue to do that. 

GOCAT isn’t self-sufficient yet.  It relies on grants to keep going.  And a flood in 2017 was a setback for the program.  The flood left three feet of water in the building, destroying furniture and equipment, and Barton said they had to start over.

"We came back strong," she said.  "We've had classes off and on in here since late 2017, and, so, we're finally at that point that we're getting students into the program."

GOCAT instructor, Larry Noller, said they had to rebuild much of the equipment after floodwaters inundated the building. 

But Barton and others at GOCAT are excited about the future.  

An Industrial Maintenance Program is going to start in the near future, and Noller says individuals who go through that program will be highly employable. 

"Here's the thing that's neat about it is that every place in the United States has an industrial maintenance person--every nursing home, every hospital, every police department.  Your building probably has one, " he said, "because they're the guys that fix the plumbing, the electricity and the air conditioner when it goes out.  So, you can go anywhere in the world, literally in the world, and get a job."

GOCAT will also offer a new program soon in industrial spray painting.

While Barton said they probably lose some of their students to other cities, many of those who have gone through their programs are working locally.

"At companies like DRS, Regal Beloit, Arlee Home Fashions that's right here close to us, Caterpillar, L&R Industries in Willow Springs," said Barton.

And she hopes GOCAT’s presence in West Plains will help bring new employers to the area. 

"Being able to show that we have a trained workforce in our area is inevitably going to bring business here," said Barton.

See original article from KSMU Ozarks Public Radio here.

GOCAT CNA training spotlight

KAYLEE SPRADLIN, West Plains, formerly of Salem, Ark., gained confidence in her abilities through Missouri State University-West Plains’ Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) program offered through the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT). Not only does she have a job at Ozarks Medical Center, which sponsored her training, she also has decided to pursue the university’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

 

The need for trained workers in the healthcare field continues to climb. Missouri State University-West Plains is working to fill that need through a certified nursing assistant (CNA) training program at the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT).

 

The program started as a way to help individuals get a job in healthcare quickly. Currently, most students are sponsored through a local healthcare organization, such as Ozarks Medical Center (OMC), Ozark Action/Missouri Job Center, or Brooke Haven Healthcare, though a sponsor is not required.

 

"The idea to team with the hospital and local long-term care facilities was really kind of an accident," said Amy Ackerson, director of nursing programs at Missouri State University-West Plains.

 

"They were looking to offer a class, but did not yet have the state approval. We had the state approval, but not the students needed for a class. So, we collaborated and formed the agreement with South Central Career Center to have a community partnership for CNA training," she explained

 

The program is an eight-week, non-credit course designed to provide training and clinical experience in the healthcare field. It includes lectures, labs and clinical instruction.

 

"I think it's an excellent way for them to actually learn how to be a CNA. Our goal is more qualified CNAs," said April Bandy, RN, director of nursing at Brooke Haven Healthcare. "It's better than just on-the-job training because they're not expected to know everything up front."

 

J.J. Corman, director of nursing at OMC, said the students are actually employees at that facility.

"We sponsor candidates, so they start out hired as an OMC employee. In the program, they do some clinical hours here, get to know our systems and departments, our different protocols. After they finish the program, we then try to pair the students with an appropriate unit that compliments both us and them. We like that we can be a part of their education as well as their training,” she explained.

 

A Student's Perspective

 

Kaylee Spradlin, who completed the CNA training program and is employed at OMC, is currently continuing her education in the two-year Associate of Science in Nursing program at Missouri State-West Plains.

 

"When I enrolled, I was not confident in my ability to get through the program. I have been successful thus far with the encouragement and help of our instructors. They are so amazing and have boosted my confidence in myself as a person and my abilities as a future nurse," Spradlin said.

 

"(The CNA program) has taught me dedication and motivation like nothing else. The instructors have been so kind and motivating, and they have made this experience enjoyable, fun, and interesting," she added.

 

Career Outlook

 

"What's great about this program is that it's short-term training that provides a real career path in the healthcare industry," Sheila Barton, project manager at GOCAT, said. "Many stay as a CNA, but others can decide to go on and further their education in other nursing occupations."

 

Over six cohorts of the CNA training program have been offered, and those cohorts have produced 39 graduates with a 100 percent job placement rating.

 

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information center, experienced CNAs in the Springfield, Missouri, metropolitan area received an annual wage of nearly $35,000 in 2018.

 

For more information about the program or to register, contact Sheila Barton, project manager at GOCAT, at 417-255-7784 or sheilabarton@missouristate.edu.

 

(Article by Colter Billings, Content Strategist Missouri State University-West Plains)

Welcome Fall 2019 CNA students!

Missouri State-West Plains to host Technology Showcase Aug. 1 at GOCAT

June 25, 2019
WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Area residents needing to increase their employability skills to meet the demands of today’s manufacturing industries are encouraged to attend the “Technology Showcase @ GOCAT” between 4 and 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT), 395 Jackie D. Garrett Ave., in West Plains. 

Sponsored by Missouri State University-West Plains, the showcase will give those attending the opportunity to:

    • discover career opportunities in manufacturing,

    • tour the facility and its training equipment,

    • see demonstrations, including the new virtual reality industrial spray painting simulator,

    • speak one-on-one with instructors,

    • meet with area employers to find out how the skills taught in the programs offered at the GOCAT are needed by area industries, many of which are currently hiring.

 

“I appreciate the officials at Missouri State University-West Plains and the Greater Ozark Center for Advanced Technology partnering directly with employers, asking what skills their employees need and continuously developing training programs that address those specific needs,” said Garland Barton, senior director of human resources at DRS Land Systems in West Plains.

 

“Because the skills required of the workforce are changing constantly, the curriculum designed to train individuals to enter into or remain in the workforce also must change continuously,” he added. “They type of relationship that exists between GOCAT and West Plains area businesses is not typical, but it is the only thing that keeps a critical skills gap from occurring in our area.”

 

According to Sheila Barton, manager of Missouri State University-West Plains’ programs at the GOCAT, courses in applied electricity and electronics, biofuels, solar and wind energy, machining, robotics, industrial controls, programmable logic controllers and senors (PLCs), computer aided drafting (CAD) and computer numerical control (CNC) programming are offered at the facility.  

 

“Over the past year, we have been very successful in partnering with local and regional employers to provide training for registered apprenticeship opportunities within their companies,” Barton said. “Our employers need skilled workers, and registered apprenticeships provide for an earn-and-learn experience.”

 

Birch Tree resident Harley Curtis is taking advantage of the apprenticeship program at Jasper Engines in Willow Springs offered through GOCAT.

 

“Being accepted into the apprenticeship program is a great benefit and will help me in my career. The coursework is online with scheduled labs, and I can still work full time and get training,” he explained. “Having hands-on learning both in the lab and on the job is the best aspect of the program. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who wants to learn a skill.”

 

In addition to tours of the facility and visits with area manufacturers, those attending the showcase will learn how they can enroll in the courses and programs, apply for financial aid from a variety of sources, and discover how successful completion of these programs can put them on a pathway to certain jobs and potential registered apprenticeship opportunities. Representatives from Missouri State University-West Plains and the Missouri Job Center will be on hand to answer questions. 

 

“Every individual’s goals and needs are different,” Sheila Barton explained. “This showcase will provide you an opportunity to explore the many options of education and training available through Missouri State-West Plains at GOCAT. If you are uncertain of the career path you want to take, this event is a great place to start your road to success.”

 

Refreshments will be served at the showcase, organizers said.

 

For more information about Missouri State-West Plains programs offered at the GOCAT, visit www.gocat.wp.missouristate.edu, call the GOCAT office at 417-255-7784 or email Barton at SheilaFBarton@MissouriState.edu.

 

Missouri State University-West Plains empowers students to achieve personal success and to enrich their local and global communities by providing accessible, affordable and quality educational opportunities. Missouri State-West Plains offers associate degrees and credit and non-credit courses, and serves as a delivery site for bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered by Missouri State University in Springfield. 

Human resource certification exam review course will be offered in West Plains

June 19, 2019
WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Missouri State University-West Plains will offer a 45-hour review course this fall for area residents interested in taking the Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR), Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification exams offered through the HR Certification Institute, www.hrci.org.

The sessions will be from 5:30 to 8:20 p.m. every Tuesday from Aug. 20 through Dec. 3 at the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT)

The fee for attending the program is $650 for individuals interested in taking the aPHR exam and $850 for individuals interested in taking the PHR or SPHR exam. The fees include all course materials.

The deadline to register is Aug. 1. For more information or to register, contact Sheila Barton, GOCAT workforce development manager, at 417-255-7784 or at sheilafbarton@missouristate.edu.

Human resources certifications provide an opportunity for HR professionals in different roles and stages of the profession to demonstrate relevance, competence, experience, credibility and dedication to human resources and their employers, university officials said.

Materials developed for this program include content review, test tips and sample exam questions, officials said. Course content is structured using lecture, case studies, and individual and group exercises. Although no one course of study can guarantee a passing score, HRCI review materials have been successful in preparing aPHR, PHR and SPHR exam participants for more than 40 years.

The aPHR, PHR and SPHR exams are based on U.S. laws, regulations and practices and are generalist in nature (i.e., they assess all the functional areas of the HR field). They differ in terms of focus and the cognitive level of questions:

    • aPHR questions tend to be more entry level for the student who wants to examine a career in HR;

    • the PHR is designed for operational/technical level;

    • the SPHR questions tend to be more at the strategic and/or policy level for those HR professionals who have worked in HR for several years.

 

Once the review session is complete, participants are eligible to register for the exam through HRCI. There is an additional fee to take the exam, which is administered through a Pearson Vue testing site. To determine eligibility for taking the exam, to register for the exam, and to locate a testing site, visit www.hrci.org.

 

Missouri State University-West Plains empowers students to achieve personal success and to enrich their local and global communities by providing accessible, affordable and quality educational opportunities. Missouri State-West Plains offers associate degrees and credit and non-credit courses, and serves as a delivery site for bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered by Missouri State University in Springfield. 

Willow Springs Tours GOCAT

On Friday June 7th, 3rd and 4th grade students from Willow Springs Elementary School came to tour GOCAT to support STEM education. Presentations were given on machining, robotics, math/excel, virtual reality, and the fab/lab.

       

Welcome South Central Career Center students

  

The South Central Career Center morning welding class visited Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT). Students attended from Bakersfield, Alton, Houston, Winona, Liberty, and Koshkonong high schools to learn about careers in manufacturing.

January 2019 Newsletter

Top stories in this newsletter





About Us

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The Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) is a partnership between Missouri State University West Plains, South Central Career Center and the City of West Plains designed to bring advanced technological training to area residents....

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Employer Spotlight

Gary Mann, Vice President of Operations Arlee Home + Pet

GOCAT’s Employer Spotlight this month is Gary Mann, Vice President of Operations at Arlee Home + Pet. Gary has been with Arlee for 26 years. He knew from the beginning that this was the place for him. After just six months, he was promoted to a supervisor position. When Gary was 25, he became the plant manager. It was a whole new world for him. He learned everything he needed to know right from the source. Gary worked his way up through Arlee and in 2013 became the Vice President of Operations...

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Student Success

Bryan Smolnik

GOCAT’s student spotlight this month is Bryan Smolnik, a Technology Degree student with the Alternative Energy option at Missouri State University- West Plains. Bryan is currently a landlord, managing several properties in the West Plains area. Bryan has done many things in his life. He has been a welder, worked on the railroad, worked in power plants and mines, water treatment projects, and so much more. Bryan has always been interested in environmental work; he now has decided to go back to school and pursue Alternative Energy... 

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Industry News

New Apprenticeship Program

A SIGNING EVENT was held by Missouri State University-West Plains for its new Industrial Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship program at the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT). On hand were, front row from left, Jim Hart, assistant professor of computer information systems/computer graphics and programming at Missouri State-West Plains; Sheila Barton, Missouri State-West Plains project manager at GOCAT; Ivan Tucker, plant manager, Timberland; Nancy Case, human resources, Timberland....

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MSU West Plains    City of West Plains    South Central Career Center

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Graduates

Congratulations to our most recent CNA cohorts who graduated January 9th! They are (from left to right) Kelsey Harper, Heather Palmer, Jessica Thornsberry, Tierra Bush, Holly Bates, and Heather Simmons. Our next training session begins Monday, March 4th so get signed up now and join us!