“These facilities will be the centerpiece of CN’s enhanced railroader training program,” said Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer. “The centers in both Canada and the United States will include a modern training curriculum and equipment to effectively train a new generation of railroaders.”
The announcement coincided with the groundbreaking for the Winnipeg center. Labor leaders joined special guests Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Transcona Member of Parliament Lawrence Toet, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, and other provincial and local officials, in Transcona, home of CN’s main Canadian heavy repair shops.
CN will begin construction construction next year on a similar training center adjacent to its Woodcrest Mechanical Shop, located in Homewood, Ill. The 100,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg will host 250 to 300 employees a week. In the U.S., the approximately 75,000-square-foot center will have 100 to 125 employees a week. New hires and existing employees working jobs ranging from conductor to locomotive mechanic, and from track supervisor to signal maintainer, will receive state-of-the art training at the centers.
Over the past four years, CN has hired thousands of new railroaders as long-service employees retire and leave the company. Workforce renewal is a major priority for CN and will be in the coming years.