Welcome to the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT)
GOCAT is the training facility for Missouri State University-West Plains Associate of Applied Science in Technology degree, which offers options in Advanced Manufacturing, Alternative Energy and Industrial Maintenance, and both credit and non-credit certificate programs.
Our collaborative effort between each of our partners is nothing short than amazing! As a great football coach once said, "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." --Vince Lombardi.
We have that kind of team!
Please read what our leadership partners are saying about GOCAT:
“By providing advanced training and key technological skills in demand by manufacturers, GOCAT is a vital asset for the City of West Plains when trying to attract potential investors into our community as well as in expanding existing businesses, Our community, and our region, benefits from having a workforce that have those skills, and GOCAT is going to be a key component for preparing its students for careers in the information age.”
Mike Topliff, Mayor, City of West Plains
“GOCAT is a very integral part of the long-term strategy for job growth in south central Missouri. Their ability to train present and future employees for the skill sets needed is a huge asset that sets us apart from many other rural regions in Missouri. This is a great example of how partnerships working together can benefit everyone!”
Myles Smith Manager, Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative, Inc. - West Plains
“I became extremely interested when I understood the objective of Greater Ozarks Center Advanced Technology (GOCAT). Their goal is to provide local residents with advanced technological training that meets the current and future needs of industry in the area.
As Senior Director of Human Resources at DRS Land Systems, Chair of the South Central Area Workforce Investment Board, and a member of the Missouri Workforce Development Board what does GOCAT mean? It means our nation, state and region all need to invest in training and development programs to build the capabilities needs of the future. It is costly and not an easy job. That is why I say “hats off” to the core team and the community that has amazingly worked together to provide such a resource as GOCAT for our area to meet our business goals and improve retention. I repeat with care what was recently said: “I am less afraid of developing my people and having them leave than I am of not developing them and having them stay.”
Garland G. Barton, Sr. Director of Human Resources, DRS Land Systems
“Arlee Home & Pet feels fortunate that the GOCAT facility is available for the employees of our manufacturing headquarters here in West Plains, Missouri. The work readiness options that they offer will really take the training burden off of our corporate team and put it in the capable hands of the professionals at GOCAT. Whether course based targeted trainings or continued learning opportunities, the flexible course options make it really easy to get what you need while also keeping your training budget in mind. Before GOCAT, these types of opportunities were simply not available.”
Gary Mann V.P. of Operations, Arlee Home & Pet – West Plains
“The GOCAT is a great program for our community, and we expect it to be a fantastic resource of skilled workforce for area employers.”
Chris Yoder HR Manager, Caterpillar - Pomona
“The GOCAT program is important to both L&R Industries Inc. and other area businesses. They provide programs that will help our company and others in the area get current and potential employees specialized skills to make immediate impacts to the business. We are excited to have the GOCAT program in the area.”
Chris Oravec Chief Operations Officer, L&R Industries Inc. – Cabool
“GOCAT is a great resource for Jasper Engines and Transmissions for local technical training. GOCAT has also worked with JASPER on Apprenticeship programs to develop our future leaders and help JASPER continue to grow our business here in this region. It is so valuable to have a technical training center close by that offers top notch training and allows flexibility for individuals and businesses.”
Ingrid McCallister, People Services, Jasper Engines and Transmissions – Willow Springs
“Anyone who completes the programs offered at GOCAT is going to have an advantage when they begin looking for work. Employers in our region are looking for technically trained individuals to help them keep pace with speed of change in their industries.”
Don J. Hanger Director, HR, Emerson Climate Technologies - Ava
Daniel Truman, Manufacturing Engineer
The training I received at MSU-WP in the Manufacturing Technology and Registered Apprenticeship program has provided me to grow within my company. After the program was completed, my job title changed from a Manufacturing Technician to a Manufacturing Engineer and I was given a promotion in 2021.
My registered apprenticeship I worked alongside my supervisor and learned the weld engineering role. I also went and got my American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector Certification (AWS CWI) and American Society of Non-Destructive Testing (ASNT) ACCP Level II VT Certification.
In my new role, I am now involved with new contracts and proto-type builds and I am tasked with developing new welding procedures, estimating welding job bids, and dealing with any welding related problems. I am consistently tasked with new projects for our sister companies and vendors on welding projects and proto-type programs.
My instructors were really great to work with and they taught me so much during the program. The small class size was a bonus for me as I feel like the more one-on-one time with the instructors was very beneficial. You guys have a great thing going over there! Keep it up!
Shelby Barton, Industrial Engineering
While enrolled in the manufacturing technology and apprentice program my job, which was assisting manufacturing engineers, began to transition into a facility Industrial engineering role. In this new role I am responsible for developing and maintaining common performance metrics across the business and tasked with analyzing these metrics in order to identify performance trends throughout the 10+ programs in our West Plains facility. A large part of my job is in continuous improvement, finding cost reductions and leading and assisting on cross-function teams.
After completing both the certificate and apprenticeship program, I continued my education and graduated with an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree in Technology. I have continued my education after MSU as I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering at The University of Southern Mississippi.
I believe the training and registered apprenticeship opportunity was the foundation for my educational growth and the one-on-one instruction gave me the additional confidence to continue to learn and grow my career.