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NS, SMART-TD to partner on conductor trainee program

Norfolk Southern Railway this week announced a partnership with International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers–Transportation Division (SMART-TD) that will launch several new initiatives to enhance the training program for conductor trainees and increase compensation for conductors who help provide the training.

The training will entail:
• a train-the-trainer program for all conductors and foremen to ensure consistency and quality in the training they provide to new trainees;
• a standardized process to monitor and report progress on all activities outlined in the existing trainee qualification book; and
• a bilateral rating system to allow conductor trainers and trainees to rate each other’s engagement, professionalism, and commitment to safety.

“We have an obligation to make sure our newest employees — our conductor trainees — have the skills and knowledge to get the job done as safely as possible,” said NS President and CEO Alan Shaw in a press release.

Added SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson: “These changes will deliver even greater quality and consistency for the Norfolk Southern conductor training program and ensure that every trainee will have a positive and comprehensive experience focused on safely performing their important work.”

Meanwhile, NS also announced a $1 million donation to The Pittsburgh Foundation. The foundation will award $250,000 of this funding in 2023 and 2024 to Beaver County and Lawrence County nonprofits. In addition, a $750,000 endowment will be established to provide long-term support to nonprofits in Beaver and Lawrence counties focused on basic human needs, health and wellness, community development, education, workforce, safety, economic development, sustainability and the environment.

The foundation is focused on evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community.