Current Events

Title:Railways Industry Announces Job Opportunities for Vets

Author:Lisa Daniel

Date:July 2012

Source:American Forces Press Service

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 72

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2012 — Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines considering separating from the active-duty military this year may seek employment options in the railways industry, which last week became the latest to pledge jobs to veterans.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the 5,000-job pledge, making rail the latest industry to offer jobs as part of the Joining Forces campaign.

The jobs, offered by about 500 companies, range from operating locomotives to working in signaling and telecommunications. "It's the whole spectrum of work," Navy Capt. Brad Cooper, director of Joining Forces said. Most of the jobs are in freight rail, but also with Amtrak, commuter rails and rail supply companies, he said.

The industry is hiring because it's growing, according to Ed Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, with some $23 billion in investments at the same time that nearly a quarter of the freight rail workforce will be eligible to retire by 2015.

"We want to reach out and let veterans know that we're hiring," he said.

The industry has actively recruited veterans since it sought out military academy graduates to build the first railroad system more than 200 years ago, Hamberger said.

"We've learned that the skills service members learn in the armed forces translate very well to our industry," he said. "We, first and foremost, are focused on safety. You learn in the armed services that if you don't follow the rules, bad things happen".

The rail industry made more than 20,000 new hires last year — which was more than 5,000 than it expected — and one in four are veterans, Hamberger said.

The 5,000 rail jobs are open now or will be in the very near future. They are listed on the association's website, www.aar.org.

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