GOMACO University began as an in-house training program back in the early 1970s. It was during that period that customers were asking for training in the method of concrete slipform paving and the operation of GOMACO equipment. GOMACO answered the questions by starting a customer training program.
The first training sessions were held in the Godbersen-Smith Construction Company conference room in 1975. Also in 1975, GOMACO leased a building along Highways 59 & 175. The new GOMACO Education Center consisted of a classroom that was large enough to accommodate 18 students. The classroom portion of the program consisted of drawings and slides, along with lectures and discussions. Physical demonstrations of components were also presented in the classroom.
A working display board of an automatic control system soon joined the education system. A working display board of the Commander III controls was designed and used to explain the operation of systems. The shop area was just large enough to accommodate the GOMACO equipment that was manufactured at the time. Defective components were installed in the machine, and students were given the opportunity to diagnose the machine and get it in working order.
In 1979, GOMACO purchased the diesel generating plant from Iowa Public Service Company in Ida Grove. The building had housed a six-cylinder and an eight-cylinder engine. The huge diesel engines were dismantled and scrapped. GOMACO then remodeled the building, which included the construction of a second story. This second story now houses both Mr. G's 1930s speak-easy and Godbersen's Classics car museum.
Following the renovation, GOMACO's Education Center was renamed GOMACO University, and the new University opened its doors for the first class in the modern building on April 21, 1980.
The modern GOMACO University classroom, which was remodeled once again for the 1998 class session, is designed with six elevated rows. Each row can hold up to 8 people, for a total of 48 students. At the rear of the classroom is a state-of-the-art projection system completely capable of handling computerized and traditional slide presentations. All controls for the projectors, lights and sound system are controlled from the instructor's podium in the front of the class.
Troubleshooting sessions are held in the shop portion of GOMACO University. Classes at the location are dedicated to the GOMACO curb and gutter line.
The year 2001 saw the unveiling of the new GOMACO University Paving Center. This facility serves as the second classroom and shop area. Located one short block from GOMACO University, students are able to walk between the two facilities for activities and meals. The Paving Center is the site for mainline paving, GT-3200 trimmers, and Commander II curb and gutter classes. The new state-of-the-art classroom has seating for up to 44 students, and hands-on training is handled in the training bay.
GOMACO University is also capable of handling three classes a week. The Service training room at Plant #1 also doubles as a classroom to handle GOMACO University classes and training sessions.
We hope to see you among the upcoming year's attendees and sincerely hope you take with you a knowledge and understanding of our machinery that you did not possess when your week at the University began!