Amtrak announced on Aug. 17 that it has more than 4,000 positions available spanning several disciplines, including project management, finance, technology, onboard services, electrical and customer service, and will be hosting 54 hiring events and career fairs to attract new talent, with a concentration in Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, New York, Washingto, D.C., Chicago, Oakland, Philadelphia, Miami and Wilmington, Del.
In addition to the in-person events, Amtrak will also be including the following virtual events to address this “significant demand” [to obtain employees]:
- Walk-In Wednesday Career Fair: Second Wednesday of every month, 1-3 p.m. ET
- Hiring Our Heroes–Skilled Trades & Advanced Manufacturing: August 18, 1-3 p.m. ET
- Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) STEM Career Fair: August 24, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
- Next stop Amtrak–Women in Tech: August 25, 1-3 p.m. ET
- Hiring our Heroes–Transportation, Supply Chain, & Logistics: September 22, 1-3 p.m. ET
- Next stop Amtrak–Latinx/Hispanic Individuals: September 29, 1 – 3 p.m. ET
“As we connect communities, economies and families, Amtrak employees have a significant opportunity to engage in truly meaningful project work,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer Qiana Spain. “As our recruitment teams pave the way to secure top talent across Amtrak, I am proud to lead such remarkable hiring efforts.”
According to Amtrak, the starting pay rate for all onboard service crafts is $21.00 per hour. On the mechanical side, journeyman electricians start at $34.07 per hour and passenger service says it also offers hiring bonuses and relocation packages to fill critical positions.
In addition to actively hiring for 4,000 regular, full-time positions, Amtrak says it also has programs for paid internships and co-ops for undergrad and graduate students, as well as Apprenticeship Programs for those looking for entry level, skilled labor learning opportunities. Offering competitive wages, Amtrak says it “aims to convert 50% of all eligible interns to full-time roles,” including early career rotational programs in finance, human resources, IT, marketing, safety and engineering.
According to Amtrak, offering “well-paying, rewarding work” has already led to more than 2,800 new employees this year. Additionally, Amtrak says it provides a competitive benefits program that supports employees, including rail pass travel privileges where employees and their eligible dependents are entitled to free and reduced-rate rail transportation, a generous amount of paid time away from work each year, educational assistance, comprehensive health and wellness benefits.
As Amtrak expands its workforce, the company says it “remains committed to fostering an environment where diverse ideas, backgrounds and perspectives thrive.” “Whether starting a career, looking for new opportunities or an experienced career professional, Amtrak’s goal is to connect talented people to career opportunities, including rebuilding and expanding passenger rail. Entering a new era of growth and modernization in markets across America, historic levels of funding received from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed by Congress and enacted by the Biden Administration changed what is possible, including comprehensive modernization for aged assets, infrastructure improvements, and advancing the Amtrak Connects US vision,” the company added.
NEC Cafe Menu Changes
Separately, beginning Aug. 17, Amtrak is debuting a new café menu on Northeast Corridor (NEC) and long-distance trains, featuring “reduced prices for select items and more high-quality and fresh items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Amtrak says the new menu is a response to customer feedback and is the company’s way to “continue to enhance the travel experience.”
According to Amtrak, customers will see 30% more of these options with items such as new hot meals, snacks, salads, sandwiches, lite bites, more vegan offerings, and new non-alcoholic beverages.
“Making changes to our menu based on customer feedback reflects Amtrak’s commitment to enhancing their travel experience, as passengers know we are listening to their requests for improvement,” said Amtrak Vice President Operations & Customer Services Robert Jordan. “In this time of rising costs, we are proud to offer our customers high-quality items on our menu at reduced prices.”
Some of the new or reduced-price menu items customers can expect to see onboard include:
- Breakfast: Bialy Egg Sandwich, Bacon & Cheese Egg Bites, and Seasonal Fruit with Mango
- Lunch & Dinner: Smoked Turkey & Havarti Sandwich, Vegan Asian Noodle Bowl, and Blue Corn Vegan Tamale
- Snacks: Fresh Vegetable Crudites, Beef Jerky, and Pistachios
- Beverages: Pomegranate Juice and new hot and iced coffee selections
Amtrak says it has also reduced the price for all sandwiches and salads on all Acela and Northeast Regional trains for savings between $.50 and $1.50. In addition, prices have remained the same for most of the food and beverages items onboard, the company says. To further promote the new offerings to customers, Amtrak has also redesigned the layout of its menu onboard, which will be provided at each customer’s seat.
“Open from early morning until late at night, customers in all classes of service are invited to enjoy these new café offerings,” Amtrak says. The revamped menus will be available on all Amtrak trains along the NEC, such as Acela, Northeast Regional, Vermonter and Ethan Allen Express, as well as Long-Distance trains such as the Capitol Limited, Cardinal and California Zephyr. For more information and to browse the full menus, visit Amtrak.com/café.
Editor’s Note: I hope Amtrak retained the Angus Cheeseburger, a bargain at $4.99 considering its size and great taste. It’s my favorite! And we wonder what former Congressman and House Rail Subcommittee Chair John Mica (R-Fla.), a harsh critic of Amtrak food services whom Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank Wilner publicly referred to as “the annoying hemorrhoid” and who called Amtrak “a Soviet style railroad,” would think of the new offerings—not that we really care. Mica in 2015 sponsored and Congress passed a provision requiring Amtrak to eliminate all financial losses on dining car service by the end of 2020; 49 USC §24321. Remember his silly “Amtrak’s $5.00 hamburgers cost taxpayers money” political stunt? For a bit of nostalgia, read Wilner’s “What’s with Congressman Mica, the foodie?” editorial from 2013. – William C. Vantuono