WINNIPEG, Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE:CNI) announced today a revitalized company-wide employee training program to meet the learning needs of CN's current and future railroaders. The initiative will be anchored by two modern training centres to be built in Winnipeg, Man., and in suburban Chicago, Ill. "These facilities will be the centrepiece of CN's enhanced railroader training program," said Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer. "The centres in both Canada and the United States will include a modern training curriculum and equipment to effectively train a new generation of railroaders." CN broke ground today on the Winnipeg centre during a ceremony attended by CN employees, labour leaders, special guests Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Transcona Member of Parliament Lawrence Toet, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, and other provincial and local officials, in Transcona, home of CN's main Canadian heavy repair shops. CN is also planning to begin construction next year on a similar training centre adjacent to its Woodcrest Mechanical Shop, located in Homewood, Ill. The 100,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg will host 250 to 300 employees a week. In the U.S., the approximately 75,000-square-foot centre will host 100 to 125 employees a week. New hires and existing employees working jobs ranging from conductor to locomotive mechanic, and from track supervisor to signal maintainer, will receive state-of-the art training at the centres. Over the last four years, CN has hired thousands of new railroaders as long-service employees retire and leave the company. Workforce renewal is a major priority for CN and will be in the coming years. Employees attending CN's learning centres will receive hands-on training in indoor learning laboratories with key equipment such as locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations. Outdoor labs with dedicated rolling stock and other equipment for field training also will be a key focus of the learning centres.