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Gator Millworks’ Investment in Pittsburg State’s Program, Pittsburg State's

Gator Millworks’ Investment in Pittsburg State’s Program

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Sunday, September 23, 2018 11:00 AM

Chad Foster never got to finish college. But he knows the value of the degrees that students earn in Pittsburg State’s Architectural Manufacturing Management & Technology program: He’s now the president and CEO of a company that last summer put PSU students to work as interns.

His desire to see the program keep churning out qualified graduates for the workforce spurred a $12,000 donation.

“PSU students are the future of our industry,” said Foster, president and CEO of Louisiana-based Gator Millworks. “Supporting the program, the only one of its kind in the U.S., makes sense. If we want a better workforce for our industry, this is truly where it all begins.”

Foster didn’t take the traditional route to becoming a corporate leader. His dad, Randy, opened the company in 1994 to produce architectural millwork for the residential market of Livingston Parish and the surrounding areas.

Ten years later, Randy fell ill and was forced to engage the help of Chad, who was a junior in college at the time, to run the business. Intimidated at first by the prospect of running the company, the younger Foster soon embraced the challenge and dedicated himself to propelling Gator Millworks into being an industry leader.

The company grew, and by 2007 had branched into the commercial market.

Three years ago, Charlie Phillips, an assistant professor in AMMT, began inviting the company to attend Wood Tech Company Day in the College of Technology.

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