The Rail Academy of Central California
The Rail Academy of Central California (TRACC) will operate as a strategic partnership between educational and business entities to train and place students into quality transportation-related jobs in railroad and transit sectors.
Primarily, TRACC will draw from San Joaquin County-area high school students from populations with labor market barriers due to geography and socio-economic status. TRACC will also accept trainees over 18 years of age participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and veterans and military spouses. Sacramento City College (SAC City) will oversee the educational aspects of TRACC, provide the approved curriculum and two instructors.
Current Rail Workforce Challenges:
The railroad industry is struggling to attract new talent to replace a workforce that is aging and cycling out of the industry. In the region, there are a few college rail programs and public-private apprenticeship programs. Locally, Sac City had suspended their railroad workforce program, hampering efforts in our region to attract young talent. Many of the students at Sac City went on to have successful, well-paying careers with Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Amtrak, Herzog Transit Services, Inc. (HTSI), CSX, Norfolk Southern and the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC).
TRACC seeks to address the challenges of an aging, highly skilled workforce by creating opportunities for high-paying, skilled jobs for historically disadvantaged populations and communities.
Benefits to the Rail Industry and Community:
Our goal with TRACC is to provide the youth of Stockton, CA and the surrounding region the opportunity to gain marketable skills to position them for success in the transportation industry, with an emphasis on rail and transit. The jobs and current salaries of SJRRC and HTSI range from $36,000-$96,000, graduates of the program will economically benefit the communities in which they live and provide entities such as the SJRRC, Union Pacific Railroad, HTSI, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, Class 3 railroads, and regional transit districts the talent needed to transport passengers and freight via rail safely.
As of 2018, when examining all U.S. rail transportation employees, including freight railroad employees, they ranked above 94 percent of employees in other industries in average annual compensation at $133,000 per year.
The Rail Academy of Central California Plan:
SJRRC has a 157,000 square feet Rail Maintenance Facility; this facility has two training rooms large enough to hold 50-60 students.
As Stockton High School students enter 11th and 12th grade, they will be offered a tour of the ACE Rail Maintenance Facility and a meeting with carefully selected staff members. The goal of the tour and discussion will be to ignite a spark in the youth to join TRACC. The curriculum will be similar to the SAC City curriculum previously developed in consultation with Union Pacific. Once all of the key participants listed below have agreed to the framework, we will create an Advisory Panel and finalize logistics related to the TRACC.
Sacramento City College
San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission
Stockton Unified School District
Herzog Transit Services, Inc.
Union Pacific Railroad