A recent announcement about the construction of a new rail training centre in Transcona will be a boon to the local economy.
CN Rail announced last month it will be building a multi-million dollar, 100,000 sq.-ft. facility that will open in 2014.
The national training centre will be located at the Transcona shops located at 550 Pandora Ave. E., and will be able to accommodate 250 to 300 trainees a week.
Wendy Galagan, executive director of the Transcona Business Improvement Zone, said CN’s continued commitment to the area, and the number of trainees coming to the community, will benefit local businesses.
"It’s wonderful news for Winnipeg and for Transcona to have that facility in the heart of our zone," Galagan said.
"To have that large number of out of town guests coming into the community who will be lodging and eating here is great. It’s great to see CN’s commitment to continued growth."
Both current and new employees will use the facility to receive training and recertification.
Trainees will receive hands-on instruction using indoor learning laboratories that include locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations.
Jim Feeny, director of public and government affairs for CN, said the training centre will allow CN to offer a standardized curriculum across its system.
"There will be several types of courses, some will be a few days, some of them will be multi-week courses. It doesn’t eliminate all training in the field, there will still be some training in the field," Feeny said.
"The intent is that every person who’s hired at CN in Canada will go through the training centre."
Elmwood-Transcona MP Lawrence Toet said the announcement is positive news for both the local and national economies.
"I am extremely pleased with the announcement made in Transcona regarding the building of this world-class training facility. The addition of more highly skilled workers will benefit all sectors of the local economy," Toet said.
"The big picture of this is you’re seeing a major Canadian corporation investing in a training facility for its employees. This shows that CN has a positive outlook for the future."
Feeny said Winnipeg was chosen for the site of the centre because of its central location.
"It made a lot of sense from a lot of different perspectives. (Being) right in the middle of the Canadian network is one," he said.
"And the fact that Winnipeg has a large bilingual population is important, and it is a traffic hub for CN. There’s an extremely varied workforce in Winnipeg."
For more information visit www.cn.ca.