SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Construction on a $95 million rail car manufacturing facility in Springfield is underway, and it is expected to create more than 100 new jobs in the city.
Starting in spring of 2018, China-based CRRC will manufacture rail cars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Red and Orange Line at the new site in East Springfield.
Senior Consultant Bobby Doyle told 22News that CRRC Massachusetts will be working with several businesses in the greater Springfield area including Sheet Metal Local 63.
John Scammon of Sheet Metal Local 63 told 22News they’re looking forward to the partnership. The union has been struggling to find work in recent years. “I have over 80 members sitting on the bench, some have been there since 2013. So, we’re looking forward to not only building the building, but working with the workforce inside of the building,” he said.
Doyle said they have also been in talks with vocational schools and colleges including Springfield Technical Community College, Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, and Western New England University, among others. The partnerships with schools will help them develop a workforce at the site.
Western New England University Engineering professor Linda Jones told 22News a group of professors from the university’s school of engineering have already visited CRRC headquarters in China. “There is an interest in developing a workforce so the people in Springfield who want to become a part of CRRC will have the skills to step into the jobs that potentially are available there,” she said.
150 new employees will be hired for manufacturing and engineering positions at the new site.
Doyle said under their agreement with the City of Springfield, they must hire 50% of their employees from Springfield, and 90% from the greater Springfield region.
Once the hiring process is complete, the first group of employees will go to CRRC headquarters in China for 10 months of training. There, they will learn how to test all the systems in the rail cars.
The second group of employees will go to China for four months to learn the assembly process.