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Railroads recognized for commitment to military veterans
G.I. Jobs names five Class I railroads to Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list

The freight railroad industry has been recognized for the seventh consecutive year by G.I. Jobs magazine, the nation’s premier career guide for military job-seekers, for their commitment to hiring military veterans. The magazine named five Class I railroads to their annual “Top 100 Military Friendly-Employers” list.

"America’s freight railroads proudly support America’s service men and women and their families,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. “Not only have railroads historically been a critical link in the supply chain during war time, but freight rail has been an industry in which many members of the armed services have found good-paying, private sector jobs. Today, almost 25 percent of the employees working for the nation’s freight railroads are current or former military service men and women.”

The G.I Jobs list surveyed U.S. companies with earnings of more than $500 million in annual revenues and based the rankings on areas such as active recruitment efforts and results in hiring America’s former service members. The survey also looked at which companies have the best company policies for employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Of the 5000 companies eligible, only 2 percent were recognized by G.I. Jobs.

"There is an attitude and skill set indicative of railroad employees that mirrors greatly with those of military service men and women,” said Hamberger. “Those characteristics that make for a successful military career also make for a successful railroad career. The freight rail industry plans to hire 15,000 people next year and we want veterans to consider a career in railroading.”

Hamberger said railroads aggressively seek out military personnel because they know a good recruit when they see him or her. To attract such talent, individual railroads have instituted military recruitment programs and offer competitive benefits:

BNSF Railway’s (BNSF) military staffing program began in 2005, and has been managed for the past three years by U.S. Army First Sgt. (Ret.) John H. Wesley III. The company's commitment to the military is demonstrated in its policies which “go above and beyond” the laws of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) for Guard and Reserve employees. BNSF offers enhanced and extended benefits for employees and their family members when called to active duty, including make-whole pay and continued health care. In addition, the company offers 15 days of make-whole pay, without requiring the use of any vacation for annual training and drill duty. BNSF has hired more than 4,000 veterans since 2005 and currently employs approximately 7,000 veterans. In 2011, BNSF was named the No. 1 "Best Employer for Veterans" in the United States by Military Times EDGE magazine (EDGE).

Canadian National (CN) offers excellent career opportunities for former members of the military. In the U.S., CN plans to add over 700 new employees this year. Military veterans comprise 20 percent of new hires at the company. “Veterans’ commitment to teamwork, their feelings of pride and passion, and their sense of accountability are precisely the qualities we look for in prospective railroaders,” said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer. CN has been recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Top Military Friendly Employer for three consecutive years.

Canadian Pacific (CP) is a proud supporter of military veterans with many Canadian and American employees currently listed as Reservists. In Canada, CP moves Canadian Forces' equipment and is one of Canada's most supportive employers of primary Reserve Force personnel. In the United States, CP is a proud partner of the U.S. Army PaYS program, which recruits soldiers interested in obtaining a quality civilian job following service to their country.

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