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Anacostia Rail Holdings President Peter Gilbertson and Pacific Harbor Line President Otis Cliatt II last month joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and several other rail industry constituents at the Pentagon to conduct the first joint roundtable meeting on increasing railroads' hiring of military veterans.Held Nov. 12, the roundtable was intended to encourage the use of the federal government’s hiring website and highlight the Department of Defense's new SkillBridge Program, which enables service members to participate in employment training — including apprenticeships and internships — up to six months before completing their service obligation, Anacostia Rail Holdings officials said in a press release.About one-fourth of Pacific Harbor Line's 150 employees are veterans or active duty guardsmen or reservists."The rail industry in general, and Anacostia in particular, have shown leadership in hiring veterans," said Gilbertson. "It was a privilege to attend the meeting."Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness) Frank DiGiovanni, FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo and FRA Executive Director Stacy Cummings headed the meeting as roundtable chairs."This was an exceptional opportunity, spearheaded by the FRA, to bring military, federal agencies and the railroad industry together for one cause: to take care of America’s heroes — America’s service members," said Cliatt, who also chairs the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's Veterans Recruitment Committee. "I took personal pleasure bridging the gap between active duty military personnel and the hiring railroad companies in attendance. Military representatives expressed appreciation of the short-line industry's information for veterans."
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