In collaboration with various sectors of the rail industry, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) today announced that the nation’s major freight, intercity passenger, commuter railroads and rail supply companies expect to hire more than 5000 veterans in 2012. The rail industry’s commitment is part of the White House Joining Forces initiative, a nation-wide effort to recognize, honor and support America’s veterans and military families. The Joining Forces announcement was made during a press event where AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and White House Joining Forces Executive Director Captain Bradley Cooper to discuss how the nation’s rail industry stands ready to provide excellent career opportunities for men and women transitioning from military service. “The commitment from AAR and companies in the railway industry to veteran hiring is exactly the type
- Freight Railroads: the nation’s freight railroads, including the country’s major Class I freight and shortline railroads represented by AAR and ASLRRA, have targeted hiring at least 4700 veterans in 2012. This year’s aggressive hiring target is in line with the industry’s sizable hiring trend kicked off in 2011 in the face of a significant wave of retirements. Both major and shortline railroads anticipate this trend to continue in the coming years, in light of projected retirements and as rail traffic continues to return.
- Passenger Railroads: the nation’s passenger railroads, including Amtrak and commuter railroads represented by AAR and APTA, have targeted hiring approximately 500 veterans in 2012, based on the significant need to fill positions being made vacant through retirements as well as some growth and typical attrition. This also represents a hiring target of between 12 and 14 percent of new hires going forward.
- Rail Supply Companies: Dozens of the nation’s rail supply and services companies, also represented by AAR, have committed to hire at least 200 veterans in 2012. These companies are responsible for supplying the materials, equipment and services that make the U.S. railroad industry the envy of the world, including rail components, cars and locomotives and cutting edge technology used to make rail the safest, most reliable and affordable way to move both people and goods.
The rail industry has a relationship with America’s military that goes back nearly 200 years and continues to remain strong with 25 percent of the industry’s current workforce having military service. Today, railroads and rail-supply companies partner with agencies and organizations including the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Wounded Warrior Project – and now the White House – to help talented veterans connect with private sector employment opportunities in the rail industry.