Canadian Pacific Railway is holding a job fair tomorrow (Saturday) in Davenport for anyone who wants to become a train conductor, rail car mechanic, track worker, or signal worker.
Chad Rolstad, a spokesman for the Calgary-based railroad, says the high-paying, union jobs allow men and women to work in a safe, clean environment without being stuck in an office all day.
“There’s just so much pride in what these folks do every day. Whether they’re fixing locomotives and freight cars, whether they’re maintaining track or whether they’re taking the train from from one city to the next,” Rolstad says. “There’s just a lot of pride in what people do in the sense of purpose and in the sense of a sense of adventure.”
Canadian Pacific plans to hire 200 new employees in Iowa this year. For example, 70 positions are for conductors based in Davenport. Other new workers will also be based in Davenport, Ottumwa, or Marquette.
Roldstad says demand for freight transportation is high right now, so the company is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for conductors. “If you think about what’s happening just in the worldwide supply chain, the price of commodities are at record highs,” Rolstad says. “Intermodal supply chains are backed up, wholesalers are out of products on the shelves. Just about every single one of our business units has incredible growth demand right now and into the coming fall.”
New Canadian Pacific employees are trained for about a month in the classroom, then continue on-the-job training on site, or on “ride-alongs.” CP Railway plans to merge with Kansas City Southern. If approved, the company will hire even more employees to work in Iowa.
The job fair will be held at Davenport’s Best Western Plus, Steeplegate Inn, Saturday from 9 to 4, with presentations at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
(By Michelle O’Neill, WVIK, Rock Island)