This week, several of The Challenge Program, Inc.’s educational partners were treated to a very special tour of Norfolk Southern’s 30-acre Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pa. Norfolk Southern is known as one of the leading transportation companies in the country, and is a new partner to The Challenge Program, Inc. for the 2015/2016 school year at Altoona Area High School and Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center.
The Juniata Locomotive Shop plays an integral role to Norfolk Southern’s operations, serving as the spot where old locomotives are recycled into more efficient machines and emissions are tested year-round to increase fuel efficiency and meet EPA regulations. More than 1,000 employees comprise the facility’s daily workforce.
The tour was hosted by Norfolk Southern general superintendent, Don Faulkner. Educators in attendance included representatives from Altoona Area High School, Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center, Hollidaysburg Area High School, Lenape Technical School, the Blair County BASICS program.
Sara Deyarmin, Manager of Program Development for The Challenge Program, Inc., says the tour was a great way to introduce educators to one of the region’s biggest employers, knowledge she hopes, in turn, they will share with their students.
“The best way to keep our students informed about local career opportunities is to educate ourselves, our educators, and our community members,” explains Deyarmin. “[During the tour], Blair County teachers, superintendents, and guidance counselors were able to get a better understanding of career options with the railroad, the significance of what is being done there, and ways to keep their students engaged with community employers.”
Norfolk Southern will have the opportunity to directly connect with students at Altoona Area High School and Greater Altoona CTC during The Challenge Program, Inc.’s kick-off assemblies this fall. We can’t wait to see what comes of this exciting business-education partnership!