Testimonials

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:

   “West Plains Schools are excited to be a partner in the growth of GOCAT.  The career pathways that are offered through this program is a win-win for all parties involved. This program provides hands-on and future ready skills that allow students to make an immediate impact in our community. Not only do the students benefit from this program, but it is integral to the growth of our community and local businesses.” 

Dr. Lori D. Wilson, Superintendent, R-7 School District - West Plains             

  “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.”

Jack Pahlmann, Mayor, City of West Plains

   “Missouri State University-West Plains is proud to partner with the City of West Plains and the South Central Career Center to provide technical training to south-central Missouri and north-central Arkansas. The GOCAT initiative will continue to help fuel the economic engine for this region and provide many individuals with a skill set that will allow them to obtain a high wage career and a path to a brighter future.  We are all excited to see this program grow as we continue to expand our program offerings in the years to come.”   

Dr. Shirley A. Lawler , Chancellor, Missouri State University – 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 - Ponoma

   “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

   “Last school year I was able to attend the GOCAT informational demonstrations as a high school counselor.  I am excited about the opportunities my students will have so close to home that can provide them with the education and skills needed for future careers in the growing demand of technology.”  

Tara Volk Counselor, Houston High School - Houston

Regal Beloit America, Inc. logoAs Human Resources Manager of Regal Beloit America, Inc. and part of the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) Advisory Board, I am pleased to offer my support of the GOCAT and the partnership of Missouri State University, West Plains, South Central Career Center and the City of West Plains.

The post-secondary training being taught at the GOCAT will increase the technical skills necessary to our industry, ensuring a pipeline of future skilled workers and will aid in the region’s economic growth. This partnership and the creation of the training center is critical to our community and they have the expertise, knowledge and passion in bringing this training center to reality.

Our company represents the manufacturing industry sector and we will continue to participate in the GOCAT by providing avenues for internships and employment opportunities, curriculum development and developing industry-recognized credentials.

Suzanne Cooley Human Resources Manager, Regal Beloit America, Inc. – West Plains

Regal Beloit America, Inc. logoHere at Regal Beloit America, Inc. in West Plains Missouri we need a grass roots program like GOCAT to provide the skilled training we need. We are in competition from around the world and we must manufacture smarter to stay in that race. GOCAT programs have been tailored to fit our hiring needs. The relationship between industry, college and the local school district makes this program very important to our future. We currently have 4 individuals in the program and plan to utilize that more in the future.

GOCAT is a great program for Regal's future in West Plains!

Sam Nash Human Plant Manager, Regal Beloit America, Inc. – West Plains