Emmanuel Domingo, a recent graduate of Red River College’s Railway Conductor Certificate program, didn’t know what to expect when he decided to go back to school after nearly 20 years.
The father of three moved his wife and young children to Canada from the Philippines in 2003. In his home country, he’d graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Luzon State University in the province of Nueva Ecija. After working for years in the pig farming industry, he obtained a working permit to move his family to rural Manitoba through a government-sponsored program.
“Even though you have a degree, in the Philippines it’s hard to find a job. In Canada, the opportunities for my children are endless,” says Domingo. “Back home, there were problems with the health care, security and education systems. In Canada, I can die tomorrow and not worry about my children.”
Domingo quickly excelled in the pig farming industry in Manitoba. In 2007, his employer rewarded Domingo for his high productivity with an all-inclusive trip to a location of his choice. Domingo opted for a one-month trip back home to visit his relatives in the Philippines. During this time, his company tasked Domingo with a special project: to recruit and interview up to 20 candidates from the Philippines, to move to Canada to work for their company.
Unfortunately, Domingo’s plant shut down in 2012, leaving him unemployed. After a year of job hunting, Domingo met with an employment consultant in Steinbach and expressed his interest in the railway industry.
“I had friends who were working at CNR, and I thought, ‘Why not?'” he recalls.
With help from his employment consultant, Domingo applied first for RRC’s Academic English Program for University and College Entrance. Following that program’s completion, Domingo began the Railway Conductor Certificate program in January 2013.
“I didn’t know what to expect — I haven’t been in school for 20 years. However, Red River College really gave me the right tools to be successful. Without the College, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” says Domingo.
“Our instructors at Red River College are not ordinary instructors. Our instructors are experts in their fields. They go above and beyond to ensure we understand the material.”
With hard work and extra help from his instructors, Domingo proved he could succeed in the program, scoring an impressive 100% on his final exam.
“Sometimes I can’t believe I was able to do it,” he says. “I really owe it to the instructors and the training facilities at the College for providing me with the right tools to succeed.”
Today, Domingo is enjoying his new career as a full-time railway conductor for CNR ,and is currently working out of a Saskatchewan station. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, watching movies and going out for Vietnamese food with his family — whom he thanks for their unconditional support during his time at RRC.
Additional thanks go out to his program instructors Perry, Bill, Brent, Bryan, Earl, Paul and Steve, as well as his AEPUCE instructors Paz, Shelly, Branka and Kevin. Domingo credits his employment consultant Lynne, his CN employees Jim, Ariel, Alvin, and Ross, as well as his former employers Rick and Roxanne, and Irvin and Marilyn, for helping contribute to his present-day success
“Red River College is an amazing school,” says Domingo. “They not only give you the opportunity to learn and to pursue your career – they’re also making your dreams come true.”
Shown above, from left: Emmanuel Domingo, daughter Sharmaine, son Manny, son Vincent and wife Lanie.
Profile by Elizabeth Catacutan (Creative Communications, 2013)