With the increasing need of more qualified people in the rail industry, Sault College will be offering a new course this fall.
Sault College, Canadian National Railway and the Railway Association of Canada are partnering to deliver the two-year Signals and Communications Maintainer/Wireman Mechanic program in September. Sault College spokesperson Rick McGee says Sault was one of a dozen colleges that were invited by the Railway Association to compete to support rail training.
"It makes Sault College, among colleges, the major Eastern Canada college for rail training," says McGee. The other major college for rail training is the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
The two-year program will allow students to learn about power supply, relays, track circuits, switches, signals and communications systems, crossing warning systems and other related items.
"Our ability to be successful is due to our experience in offering high-quality, related programming in that, for several decades have offered electrical/electronics engineering technician/technology program that fits within the rail training requirements," he says.
Sault College will be able to offer spaces to 20 to 25 first year students.
Students already enrolled in the electrical/electronics training programs can make the switch to the second-year of the rail program.
"We expect to have a total of 30 or 40 students enrolled in both years of the program," says McGee.
The program has already received considerable interest with inquiries about the course coming from as far away as British Columbia and into the United States.
"This is really exciting. We are responding to a need in the industry fueled by a large number of retirees. That is a part of the larger skilled-trades shortage confounding a number of industries," says McGee. "Sault College is well-positioned to respond."