Pride in innovations, education and teaching excellence drives GOMACO University to keep its owners, distributors, operators and mechanics up to date in the operation of GOMACO's line of paving equipment.
GOMACO University was started in 1975 to help GOMACO machine owners successfully, profitably, and safely operate their equipment. Now, after more than 45 years of service and over 22,000 students later, the tradition continues. Annually, during the winter season, students travel to Ida Grove, Iowa, U.S.A., for training in order to learn the latest in technology on various GOMACO equipment.
Special training classes can be scheduled to fit your needs and schedules. GOMACO University personnel can fulfill these requests either at our facilities, or we can come to you.
GOMACO University is offering classes covering maintenance and diagnostics on the GOMACO G+®, G21, and G22 control systems for both pavers and curb and gutter machines. GOMACO University is also offering a wide variety of classes for 3D machine guidance systems to help you understand the software, and how to set up the equipment in order to pave smoothly without stringline. Our 3D classes are taught by our specialized GOMACO 3D experts, alongside representatives from Topcon, Leica Geosystems, and Trimble.
GOMACO's research and development department has created two G+ control system simulator consoles specifically for GOMACO University to enhance their training on the G+ control system for both curb and gutter and paving machines. The portability of the digital consoles will allow GOMACO University instructors to include more students at one time by being on ground level. The two G+ control system simulators will aid students in learning the G+ electrical components, how to make calibration adjustments, standard operating procedures, and how to improve their diagnostics skills.
Dr. Michael Ayers, who is well known in the industry for his knowledge of concrete mixes, will be at the University this year and will be devoting his time to teaching a class on concrete mix designs and quality control with the University students. The first part of the course will cover the basics of concrete mix design and then move into advanced topics including cement types and application, aggregates, admixtures, optimizing the mix, and troubleshooting. The second part of the course will involve information on achieving specified values for strength and durability, and more advanced test procedures will be demonstrated or discussed. The course will feature practical, hands-on experience in the behavior of paste and mortar, as well as testing.
GOMACO University began as an in-house training program back in the early 1970s. It was during that time period that customers began asking for training in the method of slipform paving and the operation of GOMACO equipment. GOMACO filled these needs by starting a customer training program.
The first training sessions with GOMACO customers were held in the Godbersen-Smith Construction Company conference room in 1975. Also in 1975, GOMACO leased a building along Highways 59 & 175 in Ida Grove, Iowa, for the GOMACO Education Center. It consisted of a classroom large enough to accommodate 18 students and a shop area just large enough to fit the GOMACO equipment manufactured at that time.
In 1979, GOMACO purchased the diesel-generating plant from Iowa Public Service Company in Ida Grove. GOMACO remodeled the building, and the modern GOMACO University was born. Its doors were opened for the first class on April 21, 1980. In 2001, a second building was purchased for the GOMACO University Paving Center to facilitate the larger equipment and class sizes.
Dennis Clausen, GOMACO University's Director of Training since 1987, retired in December 2018. He helped teach more than 21,000 students through the years in the operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of GOMACO machines. Rod Schneider, who has been the Training Coordinator at GOMACO University since 1989, was appointed GOMACO University Director of Training following Clausen's retirement, starting with the 2019 season.
GOMACO University’s G+ control system simulator consoles were specifically designed to enhance training on the G+ control system for both slipform pavers and curb and gutter machines. The G+ control system simulators allow students to improve their knowledge of electrical components, calibration adjustments, operating procedures, and diagnostics skills.
First and foremost, safety is our top priority in teaching owners, crew members, operators, and maintenance personnel about the operation and maintenance of GOMACO machinery. Each student receives an operator’s manual for the course and a safety manual to take home with them. University instructors teach students how to prepare their machine for spring start-up in a safe and practical way, and how to prime their machine for storage during the winter months.
Learning from your fellow students and University personnel is one of the strongest reasons to attend GOMACO University.
Rod Schneider, Director of Training, and Doug Comstock, Parts Manager and Classroom Instructor, have a combined total of over 65 years of job site and classroom experience. Instructors also include GOMACO service personnel, who have a world of experience in setting up and working with GOMACO equipment. The instructors enjoy talking and building relationships with customers and students. A wealth of knowledge can also be found amongst your fellow classmates. Attendees can visit and learn from other students during the entire week, both in the classroom and working in the shop areas.
Our goal at GOMACO University is to provide everyone involved with GOMACO equipment with the skills and knowledge needed to profitably and safely operate and maintain their machines. We strive to provide attendees with an educational week of classes and a rewarding University experience.
Students will spend their time learning within the classroom and working with GOMACO trainers designed and built for the University. GOMACO University instructors will be available all week to answer questions in the classroom and on a one-on-one basis.
The week will conclude with graduation and the presentation of certificates on Thursday night. GOMACO production facilities will be available for touring on Friday morning.
Classes at GOMACO University are provided in two different buildings, located one short block from each other. One building is used for curb and gutter classes and the other is used for paving classes.
Curb and gutter machines and trimmers classes are held in the GOMACO University administration building. It has a classroom with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment and six elevated rows of seating, a shop area for training and diagnostics, and a cafeteria. GOMACO wearable items and premium gifts are also available for purchase at the administration building.
The GOMACO University Paving Center has classes on slipform pavers, IDBI, and 3D. Along with a state-of-the-art classroom, it has an extra-large shop for training and diagnostics on larger machines. Both buildings display a wide variety of modern and historical job-site photos.
Kent Godbersen, GOMACO’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, addresses the students at graduation expressing his gratitude for their attendance and wishes them the best during the upcoming paving season.
A diploma from GOMACO University makes a statement. You are one of the many students who have trained in concrete paving at the GOMACO Corporation headquarters in Ida Grove, Iowa.
All GOMACO University students are invited to a special graduation ceremony and dinner on Thursday night. At this time, certificates of achievement and attendance awards are presented, and students can enjoy a catered prime rib dinner.
Students who have attended GOMACO University for five years are presented with a GOMACO University jacket. After students have reached the five-year mark, they are asked to bring their jacket back, so it can be updated each year with an additional chevron or embroidered date.
Thursday evening also offers GOMACO University students the opportunity to explore some of the more unique sections of the administration building. On the second floor, you can wind down at Mr. G’s 1930s speak-easy. It is a relaxed environment where students can interact with each other, as well as with GOMACO University personnel and instructors.
On Friday mornings, students can tour the production floors at GOMACO facilities to see our manufacturing team in action.