Looking for a good career? Look to the railroads

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

By year-end 2014, U.S. Class I railroads will have hired 45,000 employees since 2012, including an estimated 9,900 military veterans. Some 17,000 will have been hired this year, far exceeding the projected industry target of 12,000, according to the Association of American Railroads.

“The rate at which freight railroads are hiring people with military service has allowed the industry to exceed its 2012 commitment under the White House Joining Forces Program to hire more than 5,000 veterans by the end of 2013,” AAR noted. “At today’s pace, nearly one-in-four of every new railroad hire has military service. According to the Surface Transportation Board, Class I railroads in September 2014 had more than 168,000 employees across the country. That’s more total employment for Class I’s in any month since November 2000.”

“As America’s economy continues to rebound, railroads are moving more [freight], and adding capacity by hiring people and investing in infrastructure and equipment,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “The demand for moving freight by rail will continue to grow, and railroads are looking for good people to help them serve customers and power the nation’s economy. We’re proud to say that history has shown us how the skills, dedication, and discipline possessed by men and women in the military make them a perfect fit for railroading. Railroads, like our military, are mission-critical to the health and security of our nation. They devote tremendous resources to training employees in high-tech positions, and offer highly competitive compensation packages.”

Railroads are hiring for jobs located all across the country, in many areas–from information technology to diesel locomotive mechanics and electricians to conductors and engineers, AAR pointed out. To assist those interested in a railroad career, AAR offers resources on its website, including links to videos and profiles of rail employees with military service, job fair listings, job boards, and websites where railroads are advertising their jobs, as well as the special websites that railroads have developed to connect with men and women in the military. For more information, visit www.aar.org/jobs.

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