The KCS operating team is establishing a new Transportation Engineering and Mechanical (TEaM) Training Center in Shreveport, La. to enhance training programs for operating employees. Initially, the center will focus on operating rules, procedures and compliance training, and eventually add other development opportunities.
“The transportation, engineering and mechanical groups are equally critical to the success of our daily operation. We’re only successful when we come together as a team,” explained KCS executive vice president and chief operating officer Dave Ebbrecht. “The TEaM Training Center is aptly named as a place where new employees will learn the craft for which they were hired, and gain perspective on the larger operation and the interdependence of each group.”
The TEaM Training Center occupies the former Customer Service Center building, which is being divided into multi-purpose classrooms with the flexibility to change with advancements in technology and the addition of interactive learning tools. New hires will start with classroom instruction, followed by simulated experience with interactive learning tools in the center, before heading out to Bossier Yard for hands on experience with actual rolling stock.
Renovations at the TEaM Training Center are expected to be completed around Memorial Day 2013. Later, KCS will also develop a TEaM Training Yard adjacent to the center, eliminating the need to use Bossier Yard for training.
Gerry Peppmuller, who was an operations management trainee for approximately six months, was recently named director of the new center. Peppmuller joined KCS after retiring from the U.S. Army with 22 years of service.
“This is an exciting opportunity to advance KCS’ training and development programs,” explained Peppmuller. “A proper training program is key to ensuring employees are prepared to perform their duties safely and make sound business decisions. The creation of this center is the first of many initiatives planned to support the training and development of KCS’ most important assets – its employees.”
Peppmuller will also provide leadership to the Training Working Integration Group (TWIG), whose members are charged with transforming KCS’ training methodology, procedures and policies. The TWIG is expected to evolve into individual transportation, engineering or mechanical training management committees, responsible for craft-specific training management in support of the larger operations training group.
“Our efforts will always focus on making operations better by continuing to turn-out disciplined operating employees, who are confident in their abilities and prepared to work safely,” said Peppmuller. “We’ll also explore opportunities for existing employees to return for training to expand their knowledge base.”