Union Pacific and Mid-Plains Community College Announce Educational Partnership to Expand Railroad Training and Recruitment

Omaha and North Platte, Neb. , July 13, 2007 – Today, Union Pacific and Mid-Plains Community College (MPCC) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the terms of a new educational partnership. The new agreement focuses on creating two railroad operations tracts within the college’s existing Associate of Applied Science Degrees (AAS) in Electrical Technology and Diesel Technology. This effort will further enhance student preparation for possible employment with Union Pacific.

In addition to expanding existing electrical and diesel curriculum training to include railroad operations, the agreement calls for joint development of a competency-based evaluation that meets railroad industry standards for those students participating in MPCC’s railroad operations tracts within the diesel and electrical programs.  

"The railroad industry has changed dramatically from the original days of wood-fired locomotives steaming across the plains to connect a nation. Today’s diesel electric locomotives rely on state of the art computer, electrical and mechanical technology," said Roy Schroer, assistant vice president – Recruitment, Union Pacific. "This new agreement between UP and MPCC demonstrates that quality education is the key to ensuring the next generation of railroad employees is well-prepared to maintain Union Pacific’s locomotive fleet and will help increase the likelihood that a sufficient number of trained personnel are available, particularly in the North Platte area."

"We hold our training partnership with Union Pacific in the highest regard," said Mid-Plains Community College President Dr. Michael Chipps. "This new educational agreement will add an additional educational dimension to our long-termed partnership and will directly benefit our students, our communities, Union Pacific, and the college.  So, while the faculty produces a trained workforce, we have companies like UP to employ them with excellent wages and benefits.  We will continue to deliver a highly skilled labor force designed to meet Union Pacific’s needs for its promising future."

As part of the MOU, both parties agreed to jointly develop railroad-specific courses in the existing diesel and electrical curriculum that will produce high-quality graduates. Both Union Pacific and North Platte Community College will partner to attract and recruit students to enroll in the railroad operations program.

"It is not too late to enroll for the fall term," said Marilyn McGahan, Vice-President of North Platte Community College, home to the two programs. "There are also a limited number of scholarships still available along with financial aid for those who qualify. And, there are still a few beds available in our residence quarters located on the North Campus, as well. But students need to sign up immediately."

Once courses begin, Union Pacific will take an active role in providing students with career information, including Union Pacific job requirements. The Career Services Department at North Platte Community College is prepared to assist students with the Union Pacific online application process and career placement support. Part of these career placement services includes the opportunity for students to attend Union Pacific’s dedicated hiring fairs at the North Campus. UP holds these hiring fairs about once every six months.

Union Pacific will reimburse the majority of tuition expenses for graduates who complete AAS degree requirements in either Diesel Technology or Railroad Technology programs who are hired as an Apprentice Diesel Mechanic or Apprentice Diesel Electrician. The fall term begins August 20 and there are still several seats available. Students who are interested in enrolling in either of the AAS Electrical or Diesel Technology with Railroad Operations emphasis should contact the admissions office at North Platte Community College at 308-535-3609 for enrollment information.

The MOU agreement became effective July 1, 2007, and will extend through June 30, 2012.

For more information, about opportunities with Union Pacific please visit http://www.unionpacific.jobs/.
For more information about Mid-Plains Community College, visit http://www.mpcc.edu/.

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.

About Mid-Plains Community College

Mid-Plains Community College, a legislatively designated 18-county district in West-Central Nebraska, is a comprehensive, open access, public, two-year community college system that offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. MPCC consists of three campuses, one located in McCook, Nebraska, and two located in North Platte, Nebraska. Additionally, there are extended campus sites in Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala and Valentine with satellite classrooms located throughout the Area.

For further information:
Contact James Barnes, Union Pacific, (402) 544-3560, or
Chuck Salestrom, Mid-Plains Community College, (308) 535-3781.

The statements and information contained in the news releases provided by Union Pacific speak only as of the date issued. Such information by its nature may become outdated, and investors should not assume that the statements and information contained in Union Pacific's news releases remain current after the date issued. Union Pacific makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of this information.