Designated Supervisor of Remote Control Operations Jim Scarsellato gained perspective when he moved into the classroom.
“I draw a lot on the field experience I had,” he said.
Charged with teaching employees, Scarsellato banks on more than 23 years of experience, nearly a decade of which he worked switching. Observing operations in the field has helped him find opportunities to refine his curriculum.
“You bring things back into the classroom,” he said.
Scarsellato takes a lot of pride in teaching and wants trainees to know he’s dedicated.
“It’s important to me that they learn,” he said. “A well-trained and well-informed operator will be safer. The railroad can be a dangerous place if you don’t follow the rules. Given the size of the equipment, there’s a lot to take into consideration.”
Scarsellato actively seeks feedback from trainees. He credits that feedback with helping him evolve as an instructor. Changes to technology require forward thinking. Since Scarsellato began his career, new engines and software changes have required employees to adapt, and he said they have adapted well while dealing with the constant challenges of the job, including the Chicago-area’s climate.
In addition to know how, Scarsellato believes attitude is vital to success as a railroader and relates to one’s ability to stay focused.
Watching new hires progress is the most satisfying part of the job for him.
“You meet people throughout your life, but you always remember your teacher,” he said. “I enjoy making a positive impression on people’s lives.”