New hires and existing employees will have the opportunity to develop skills in various crafts through a new apprenticeship pilot program, Amtrak reported on May 10.
Regardless of specialization, apprentices will take core courses including safety, environmental awareness, personal protective equipment and others before meeting their mentors and moving into combined classroom and hands-on instruction, and then branching off into craft-specific training, according to Amtrak. “After three years of training, students take a final exam and become full mechanics,” said “America’s Railroad.” The program not only creates a “talent pipeline” for existing and new employees, but also “provides a career track for personal and professional advancement at Amtrak,” it added.
“With a focus on safety and Amtrak values, the apprenticeship program offers an opportunity for employees to develop new skills and expand their career,” said Qiana Spain, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Amtrak. “As we aim to produce top-quality trainings that attract new and existing employees, we are thrilled to offer this opportunity.”
“Working people aren’t just looking for jobs—they want meaningful careers they can raise families on, in positions where they feel seen, heard and invested in,” Transport Workers Union Rail Division Director John Feltz said. “Apprenticeship and effective training programs, just like this one, are proven ways to grow workforces, attract and retain the right talent, and help working people expand their skillsets. We are working with Congress to ensure Amtrak and the FRA have the necessary funding to develop more trainings like this one that provide well paid, meaningful jobs for generations to come. We are proud to support Amtrak in this endeavor.”
Amtrak reported that it has brought on board more than 1,500 new employees this year, and is offering hiring bonuses and relocation packages “to fill critical positions.” Earlier this year, the company was named to Forbes magazine’s “America’s Best Employers 2022” list of large companies.
In related developments, Amtrak and North America’s Building Trades Unions signed a workforce MOU last fall that promotes a “pipeline of U.S. union construction workers to build and expand” passenger rail.