Thursday, August 13, 2009

Norfolk Southern backs new Penn State rail program

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The Norfolk Southern Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to Penn State Altoona to help create a four-year Rail and Transit Engineering program. The program will lead to a Bachelor of Science degree and program will include existing civil engineering courses, as well as customized courses in rail business, mechanical systems, track, operations, communications, and regulation.

In announcing the program Thursday, the Foundation said the goal is “to produce graduates who will quickly acclimate to the rail industry and its suppliers.”

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Cindy Earhart, Norfolk Southern’s vice president human resources, said: “While the rail industry is operating in challenging economic times, the fact remains that our workforce is maturing. In order for Norfolk Southern to remain successful, we need to develop a talent pool that understands the railroad work environment. Penn State Altoona’s Rail and Transit Engineering program will provide the industry with skilled and motivated graduates who want to become the next generation of railroaders.”
 
“I want to congratulate Norfolk Southern and Penn State University for coming together to create this fantastic baccalaureate program in railroad engineering,” said Rep. Bill Shuster (Pa.), ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Railroads in the House of Representatives. “Pennsylvania played an important role in building America’s railroads, and our state continues its proud heritage to this day. The transportation of goods and services over railis critical to our economic growth and educational programs like this at Penn State will help improve its role across the country. I want to recognize Norfolk Southern for its commitment to improving the communities it works with and I congratulate Penn State and its students on this exciting new educational opportunity.”