CN Gives $10,000 for RR Conductor Scholarships

Published on: November 8, 2012

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Canada’s largest freight railroad supports DCTC Foundation

The Canadian National Railway Company, or CN, Canada’s largest freight railroad, donated $10,000 to the Dakota County Technical College Foundation to support scholarships for students enrolled in the DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology program. A Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, CN provides transportation and intermodal service throughout North America.

Photo courtesy of Tim StevensCN Human Resources Associate Esmeralda Salinas visited the college’s main campus in Rosemount, Minn., Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, to take part in a check presentation ceremony during a DCTC Foundation Board meeting. Salinas met Railroad Conductor Technology Instructor Don Spano, Customized Training Transportation Director Larry Raddatz and Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni Tharan Leopold as well as members of the board.

Assisting underrepresented students is a priority for both CN and the college. CN founded the Diversity Leadership Council, or DLC, in November 2001. The DLC identifies opportunities for increasing the representation of diverse groups—personal diversity (gender, racial background) and diversity of experience—across CN regions and functions.

(Left to right in photo: CN Human Resources Associate Esmeralda Salinas, DCTC Foundation Board Director Al Eiden, DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology Instructor Don Spano, DCTC Foundation Board Vice Chair Larry Severson, DCTC Customized Training Transportation Director Larry Raddatz, DCTC Foundation Board Director Bob Erickson, DCTC Foundation Executive Director Tharan Leopold)

(Left to right in photo: CN Human Resources Associate Esmeralda Salinas, DCTC Foundation Board Director Al Eiden, DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology Instructor Don Spano, DCTC Foundation Board Vice Chair Larry Severson, DCTC Customized Training Transportation Director Larry Raddatz, DCTC Foundation Board Director Bob Erickson, DCTC Foundation Executive Director Tharan Leopold)

The DCTC community is committed to creating a positive, engaging environment that welcomes opinions and ideas from people from all nations, backgrounds and cultures. The student population features scholars from all over the world, including countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, South America,the Middle East and, of course, North America. Students with African American, European American, Native American, Asian American and Hispanic heritages are enrolled in academic programs, reflecting a growing and promising diversity in Minnesota and across the country. The Multicultural Student Leadership Association is one of the most active student groups on campus.

Tharan Leopold and Don Spano expressed gratitude on behalf of the RRCT students who will benefit from the scholarship funds. “DCTC is proud to work in partnership with CN to help train railroad conductors for a rail industry with a bright future,” Leopold said. “Our students would have a much more difficult time paying for their education without the generous support from companies such as CN.”

Spano added that railroads are benefiting from ongoing highway conversion due to rail’s cost effectiveness over truck transport. Rail intermodal services are one of the most fuel-efficient modes of freight transportation. Operating across 150,000 miles of track in the U.S.,  approximately 600 freight railroads—Class I, regional  and shortline operators—generate more than $50 billion in annual freight revenues.

About CN

Photo courtesy of Dave SchauerCN is a leader in the North American rail industry. With 22,000 employees, CN is the only railroad that crosses the continent east-west and north-south, serving ports on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts while linking customers to all three NAFTA nations. CN focuses on a diversified and balanced portfolio of goods, including petroleum and chemicals, grain and fertilizers, coal, metals and minerals, forest products, intermodal and automotive.

About the DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology program

This program prepares students to serve as railroad conductors in the railway industry, which is critical to our nation’s livelihood. Retirement rates of current conductors promise excellent job opportunities. Railroad conductors oversee train routes, movements and car switching through a range of duties, including the relay of signals in emergency situations. Conductors work irregular hours, including holidays, weekends, days and nights for shifts up to 12 hours. Constantly alert to changing conditions, they are trained to act safely and responsibly.

About the DCTC Foundation

Established in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the DCTC Foundation is governed by a board of directors with up to 18 members. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated more than $3.2 million in financial assistance for students while building a general endowment fund and establishing private endowment funds.

For more information about the DCTC Railroad Conductor Technology program, contact:
  • Don Spano
    Railroad Conductor Technology Instructor
    651-423-8352
For more information about the DCTC Foundation, contact:
  • Tharan Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni
    651-423-8293

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