Missouri Program Fosters Culture of Innovation in Youth

When a company looks at expanding into a new area one of the first things they look at is the availability of highly skilled talent.  Companies want employees who are hard working, conscientious, and have a proven ability to adjust to technology and workforce evolution. This has led to communities trying to find ways to produce higher quality talent in a greater quantity. Missouri’s Springfield region is tackling this challenge head on with their innovative GO CAPS program.

GO CAPS stands for Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies, and is a unique, yearlong learning experience that allows high school juniors and seniors to test-drive future career options. The career exploration program connects students with real world professionals allowing them to explore a range of fields, and develop the skills needed to succeed before they ever graduate high school.

GO CAPS gives students the chance to explore their interests in four key employment areas: Engineering and Manufacturing, Entrepreneurship and Business, Medicine and Health Care, and Technology Solutions. Students attend morning and afternoon sessions every day throughout the school year, are allowed dual credit opportunities through Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College, and many are offered internships or even jobs with the companies involved in the program after graduation.

OTC medical photo

The GO CAPS program was started in the Springfield, Mo., area in 2014 with 11 school districts before expanding to the current 13. The program currently partners with more than 170 companies, and has had more than 5,700 hours of job shadowing in its Medicine and Health Care field alone.

The program has been well received by the school districts, students, local businesses and colleges, and is expected to continue to grow even larger in the future.

Programs like GO CAPS allow for companies looking to expand the opportunity to not only begin hiring a trained and highly skilled workforce, but also to invest in future talent. Ensuring a steady stream of top-tier, youthful talent for years to come.

With its strategic location, globally connected infrastructure, stable fiscal atmosphere, economic diversity, competitive business and labor costs, certified work-ready communities, highly-skilled and hard working talent, quality of life, reliable and inexpensive energy, available and affordable real estate, aggressive and performance-based incentives and a statewide commitment to attracting companies and investment, Missouri is a place where companies come to grow and thrive.