Each year the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association's (NRC) Education Committee allows colleges and universities with rail education programs to apply for the NRC Educational Grant Program.
After receiving a record number of applications, the NRC Education Committee congratulates the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Michigan Tech! Both schools displayed exemplary educational programs, and showcased how their respective programs not only educate the next generation, but also how they prepare the students for industry advancements.
"This year, we had a record number of applications for the 2019 NRC Education Grant Program. All submissions were from top-tier rail programs which made the committee’s job very difficult in deciding our winners," said Daniel Stout, Vice President of STX Railroad Construction Services, and the Chairman of the NRC Education Committee.
"I would like to thank all the programs that applied this year as well as the education committee members for their time and efforts during the grant process. I am looking forward to having our co-winners, Michigan Tech and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, join us in discussing their respective programs and how they plan to utilize the grand funds at the 2020 NRC Conference in San Diego," continued Stout.
Background on the Winning Programs:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) provides academic and research programs in engineering and transport. The RailTEC program plans to use the grant funds for outreach and recruiting of K-12 students that demonstrate key learning points related to railway transportation. By introducing students to railway engineering concepts at an earlier age, RailTEC hopes that these programs help increase interest in railroad-related jobs throughout the industry.
Michigan Technological University
The Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program plans to use the grant funds for outreach and recruiting of pre-university students, which include a rail tour with pre-K and Kindergarten students, as well as for making the Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program accessible for underprivileged students in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
The NRC 2020 Educational Grant application period will open in the spring of 2020. Please monitor NRC bulletins and announcements for updates on the official date as it approaches. The candidates will be asked several questions including, how many students are enrolled in the program, history of the program, utilization of funds, and how their program can better impact the future of the industry.
I am really proud to have followed in my father’s footsteps who shaped and engrained in me the importance of the NRC and getting involved. (The NRC) through friendships and dialogue with fellow competitors, relationships with the supply community, and with a vision that private railroad contractors could and would have a seat at the table when it came to building and maintaining our country’s railroad infrastructure … and that we could and would do it safely, efficiently, profitably, and of the highest quality.
Retiree, 2020 NRC Hall of Fame Inductee
RailWorks Track Systems, Inc.