OMAHA, Neb. – G.I. Jobs magazine has named Union Pacific Railroad one of the nation’s top 25 Military Friendly Employers for 2004. Union Pacific ranked sixth on the list, drawn from a sample of Fortune 500 companies and based on criteria that includes the strength of company military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service and company policies toward National Guard and reserve service.
About 450 Union Pacific employees indicated on their employment applications that they have reservist or National Guard affiliations. About 125 currently are in active military service; nearly 150 have served and returned. Some of them might be recalled, along with retired military members now working at the railroad.
Union Pacific job recruiters actively seek military personnel by attending military job fairs and transitional assistance programs, and regularly visiting major military installations, the company said. Union Pacific spends about 10 percent of its hiring advertising budget in national military publications and local base newspapers.
Union Pacific says it targets military personnel for several reasons. Many of the railroad’s technical jobs – such as diesel locomotive mechanics and electricians, and railcar mechanics – are well suited for military members who have developed similar skills working with Armed Forces large equipment.
Lifestyles and working conditions also make military personnel a great fit for the railroad. Many positions at Union Pacific involve outdoor work with non-traditional working hours. Military personnel tend to be flexible when it comes to relocation, enabling the railroad to maintain service when business volumes shift geographically.
Union Pacific says it is dedicated to its reservists and National Guard members. Immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, UP Chairman Dick Davidson reaffirmed the company’s long-standing policy of making up any difference in pay or benefits between what UP employees receive while serving in the military, and what they would have received on the job. Davidson expressed his belief that UP employees called to service should be free to focus on their military tasks without having to worry about their financial or medical situation at home.
Union Pacific’s history of hiring military personnel dates back to its very beginnings, the company said. At the end of the Civil War, many soldiers were hired by Union Pacific to help build the transcontinental railroad.
G.I. Jobs is a national monthly magazine that assists transitioning military members and veterans in their search for civilian employment. The Top 25 recognition is Union Pacific’s third such workplace honor this year. Working Mother magazine named North America’s largest railroad as one of the nation’s 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers, and LATINA Style magazine named Union Pacific one of its LATINA Style 50 companies that provide sensitivity to professional Hispanic women’s needs and goals in the workplace.
— PRNewswire-First Call