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CN announced yesterday that 15,000 employees have completed railway training at its two education campuses since they opened in 2014.The milestone of 15,000 workers trained "reflects the re-engineering of how CN hires a new generation of railroaders and upgrades the skills of current ones," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau in a press release."Sustaining a skilled employee base and instilling a strong safety culture in our ranks are critical priorities for CN as it builds for the future," he added.Also yesterday, the company unveiled plans to provide customer safety training under a new CN Campus Partnership Program. Starting in May, the railroad will offer safety courses to its largest carload customers at the training campus in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The courses will deal with track, basic rail safety and the requirements of safe switching operations.In the near future, CN plans to roll out a similar customer program at its campus near Chicago. The target audiences eventually will include smaller carload customers, short lines and intermodal customers.CN built the training centers — which cost of a total of $60 million in Canadian dollars — as part of a workforce renewal program launched six years ago. Employees receive hands-on training in learning labs with equipment such as locomotive, crane, and signal and communication simulators. Outdoor labs feature dedicated rolling stock and other equipment for field training."Quality on-boarding and employee training are essential to attracting, retaining and developing talented railroaders who will work safely and help CN maintain its leadership position for many years to come," Mongeau said. "CN continues to innovate and adapt to changing forces and now we want our customers and other stakeholders to share how we think of and practice safe railroading every day of the year."
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