Recently hired engineers at CRRC MA Corp. in Springfield are learning about the subway cars they'll soon start building through reams of specifications and diagram after diagram.
Starting next month, they'll have their hands on the real thing in the Chinese factory where they were developed.
On April 7, CRRC will send four engineers, a number of production supervisors and 22 newly hired union production workers to Changchun, China, for three months of training. It's the beginning of what CRRC calls the technology transfer of its rail car design to Springfield.
"It's really exciting to learn about the technology," said Andrew Steele Turgeon of Worcester.
Other new hires include recruiters and human resources specialists and a procurement specialist in charge of supplying the plant with what it needs once it is running.
CRRC has hired 37 people so far in Springfield and hopes to push that total to 50 employees in two months. Five of the new hires are coming right from manufacturing technology programs at Springfield Technical Community College, according to CRRC MA General Manager Mark J. Smith.
It's the most recent step toward getting the 204,000-square-foot, $95 million CRRC factory up and running. CRRC plans to have the factory completed in a few months. That will be followed by a few months of equipping and training, with production to begin in earnest in 2018.
Eventually CRRC plans to have 150 employees at its East Springfield facility. CRRC said production jobs will pay $55,000 to $60,000 a year.