Ten students from the Cégep de La Pocatière along with two of their professors visited Chicago at the beginning of October to learn more about the international business environment. The Québec Government Office in Chicago (DQC) organized two visits for the group to help them better understand how Québec companies operate in the Midwest and what kind of services the DQC can offer them.
On October 9, the students came to the DQC and heard from Délégué Eric Marquis about the mandates of the office and his role as Québec’s representative in the Midwest. Director of Economic Services Catherine Tadros gave a presentation about the economic sector and the different areas that her team covers.
On October 10, Commercial Attaché Keith Kalinowski organized a tour for the Cégep group by the Chicago Transit Authority, which included a ride on the Pink Line in a new Bombardier 5000-series car to the facility at its 54th/Cermak terminus. Students learned about the features in these new cars from Randall Gray, Transportation Manager, and Robert Kielba, the Chief Rail Equipment Engineer. Mr. Gray talked about the efficiency of the new cars on the Pink and Green Lines and their near term introduction on the Red Line. Mr. Kielba was very involved in the CTA’s custom order of the Bombardier 5000-series cars and had visited Bombardier’s plant in La Pocatière several times. He told about his experience working between Chicago and Québec to get Bombardier cars on the tracks and the excitement of bringing over 700 new cars to the system.
The students returned to Québec the next morning after their quick but insightful trip.