The Association of American Railroads (AAR) this Veteran’s Day –and every day – offers the rail industry’s gratitude and praise for the men and women who have served our country through military service. The nation’s freight and passenger railroads earlier this year announced they expect to hire at least 5,000 military veterans in 2012, and so far are on track to achieve this goal by seeing one-in-four new hires with military experience. “We are proud of the dedication to our country these men and women have demonstrated through their military service,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “It is this dedication that makes them such valuable employees, and railroads have recognized these great qualities for more than a century.” This year alone, railroads have participated in almost 100 job fairs targeting military service members for the roughly 15,000 jobs the industry expects to fill all across the country in 2012. In addition to the
Railroads seeing military experience with one-in-four new hires in 2012.
job fairs, for those interested in learning about a railroad career, AAR has developed a website
with information and links to member company recruiting sites and partner websites where rail jobs are posted, including the U.S. Department of Defense Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, the Department of Transportation, the Veterans Administration and White House Joining Forces program. “The rail industry has a unique story to tell about its relationship with the armed services. Not only have railroads historically been a critical link in the supply chain during war time, but railroads are where members of the armed services have historically found good paying, private sector jobs,” Hamberger said noting that roughly 25 percent of rail employees are current- or former-military service members. Many military veterans have difficulty transitioning from the service to civilian careers, so AAR offers a “job skills translator” based on what railroads have learned by over the years to help adapt resumes with military skills for civilian job opportunities. The site also hosts video testimonials from employees with military service, offering firsthand experience and perspective on going from a position in the armed forces to a career in railroading. “There is an attitude and skill set for railroad employees that overlaps greatly with those of military service men and women, regardless of their level of higher education. These skill sets range from inherent leadership capabilities and strategic thinking qualities to the more technical skills that engineers, conductors, signalmen and dispatchers need to keep our railroads cost-effective, cutting-edge and safe,” he said.