Gainesville resident among MSU-WP’s first welding graduates

MSU-WP photo Gainesville’s Keegan Corbin was one of nine students to receive the first certificates in advanced fabrication and welding awarded by Missouri State University-West Plains. The certificates were presented during the university’s May 21 commencement ceremony at the West Plains Civic Center.

When officials at Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) awarded certificates to the first graduates of the Terry L. “Bo” Pace Advanced Fabrication and Welding Program May 21, Gainesville’s Keegan Corbin was among them.

Corbin was one of nine students to receive his certificate that day at the West Plains Civic Center as part of the university’s annual commencement ceremony.

The 32-week program trains students in a variety of welding and fabrication skills using the latest technology. The skills they develop prepare them for modern welding positions at industries in the area and beyond.

Corbin, a 2021 graduate of Gainesville High School, said he had the opportunity to enroll in the new program last fall and “took it.”

“I came to the conclusion my senior year that I loved hands-on work over desk work, and welding interested me,” he explained.

It’s a decision he’ll never regret, he said. “This program has exceeded my expectations. Not only has it taught me how to weld, but also how to be a fabricator and craftsman. I’ve also learned hard work and determination,” he said.

The program gave Corbin other benefits, as well. “I expected this to be a strict, focused learning environment. I never expected to get to know everyone here so well,” he said.

“I thought I would be here then leave into the workforce. What I got was, as corny as this sounds, a family, friends that I can trust. I have gained so much more from this program that what I thought I would,” Corbin said.

Sheila Barton, director of workforce development at MSU-WP, said she’s thrilled to hear how the program has impacted Corbin.

“It’s always gratifying to know that our students have gained so much from their training and experiences in our program. We believe in developing well-rounded graduates who not only have the technical skills but also the interpersonal skills to excel in their chosen professions. We’re confident that Keegan’s current job search will end successfully,” Barton said.

Barton said enrollment is going on now for the next cohort. Students can choose the 32-week certificate program or begin work on the two-year Associate of Applied Science in Technology degree with the advanced welding/fabrication option.

For more information about the program, contact Barton at 417-255-7784 or, or visit

For more information about admission and enrollment procedures, contact the MSU-WP admissions office at 417-255-7955 or, or visit

Ozark County Times

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