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Technology Showcase set for Aug. 4 at GOCAT

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Today’s manufacturing industries need highly skilled workers. Area residents can learn how to develop those skills to increase their employability at Missouri State University-West Plains’ (MSU-WP) Technology Showcase.
The free, drop-in event is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 4, at the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT), 395 Jackie D. Garrett Ave., in West Plains.
Those attending can tour the facility and see the state-of-the-art equipment used to train students and view demonstrations of the pieces in action, organizers said. Visitors also can speak with instructors, meet with area employers, and find out how the skills embedded in MSU-WP’s technology programs offered at the GOCAT are needed by area industries, many of which are currently hiring.
“The MSU-WP training programs at the GOCAT facility have been developed hand-in-hand with local manufacturers,” said MSU-WP Interim Chancellor Dennis Lancaster. “Our primary goal in developing the programs has been to benefit both students and our area industries.
“And, with some of our manufacturers needing new workers with these skill sets now and some who may need their current workers to increase their skills in specific areas, this is an ideal opportunity to learn how to be ready to meet these challenging demands on the plant floor,” he added.
Sheila Barton, director of workforce development programs for MSU-WP, said the university’s technology programs provide hands-on technical training needed within the manufacturing industry.
“As a National Coalition of Certification Center (NC3), each program includes certifications in electricity, hydraulics/pneumatics, mechanical systems, PLCs and robotics,” she explained. “And, as a Lincoln Electric Educational Program (LEEPS) partner, we are very proud to offer a new program this fall in advanced welding and fabrication.”
Students, she said, will earn certifications in FCAW, SMAW, GMAW and GTAW welding types, thermal cutting, blueprint reading, safety. American Welding Society (AWS) certifications also will be offered, she added.
“Our programs over the past several years have been successful, and we are continuing to upgrade and provide what our industry partners ask,” Barton said. “Today’s industrial environment is increasingly dependent on technology-focused and technology-enabled manufacturing. To put it simply, this isn’t the assembly line work of the past; this is cutting edge stuff, and it’s exciting stuff, too!”
Attendees can learn how to enroll in the programs and apply for various financial aid packages from MSU-WP representatives who will be on hand at the event. Completion of any of MSU-WP’s technology programs, Barton said, can put students on a career pathway to success.
“Every individual’s goals and needs are different. While you may not be eligible for financial assistance from one source, you might be eligible from another one. And, while you might not be interested in ‘Career Path A,’ you might find ‘Career Path Z’ is a great option, and you can start down that path at MSU-WP,” Barton said.
Refreshments will be served at the showcase, she added.
For more information about MSU-WP and the programs available at the GOCAT, visit GOCAT.WP.MissouriState.edu or contact the admissions office at 417-255-7955, toll free at 888-466-7897 or email WPAdmissions@MissouriState.edu.

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