WASHINGTON – The nation’s four largest railroads have all made the list of “Top 50 Military-Friendly Employers” as determined by GI Jobs magazine.
The railroad industry is creating 80,000 American jobs over the next six years, and is one of the few industries that doesn’t outsource its jobs or facilities overseas. Thousands of those being hired are former military personnel, including both officers and enlisted personnel. The jobs they perform cross the entire spectrum of railroading, from locomotive engineers to conductors to civil engineers to information technology to marketing.
“Today, railroads are going through a hiring boom as more and more freight moves by train,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. “The railroad industry finds that veterans are some of the best people they can hire to handle those jobs.”
For the second consecutive year, Union Pacific Railroad was judged the country’s most military-friendly employer. Also making the top 50 list were BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation. The magazine considered 2,500 companies in developing its list of top 50.
“As the nation prepares to commemorate Veterans Day this weekend, I can think of no greater honor for an industry than to be singled out as being a military-friendly employer,” said Hamberger. “The support shown by railroads for employees with military backgrounds goes back to our earliest days when many of those first railway lines were laid out by civil engineers who graduated from West Point.”
People with a military background are well suited for railroad employment. They pay attention to detail, are extremely safety conscious and are comfortable working in weather conditions that accompany railway operating jobs. In addition, officers and noncommissioned officers have leadership skills that transfer well to the railroad environment.
Because many railroad employees are reservists or members of the National Guard, they are subject to possible call-up, and hundreds are currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other military locations around the world. Most railroads provide those employees with extended benefits, including wage protection and health insurance.