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AAR: One in five new hires are military vets; WMATA sets vet recruitment event


One in five of the more than 15,000 new employees freight railroads expect to hire by year’s end have served in the U.S. military, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

“Freight rail continues to be steady driver of our nation’s economy, and as demand increases we need even more employees to help keep our wheels turning,” said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger in a prepared statement. “For this reason, our industry is on pace to hire approximately 15,000 new employees in 2011, and thousands of these jobs will go to members of the military, who are uniquely qualified to work in freight rail.”

Freight railroads participate in employment recruitment programs with the military to identify service men and women who have the skills that match those needed to work for railroads. Hamberger noted there is a “common sense overlap in personal traits and skill sets” between railroad employees and military veterans.

“Our vets have a disciplined background, with special capabilities and qualities that are uniquely suited to help keep freight railroads efficient and safe,” he said.

Passenger-rail agencies also seek to recruit veterans. For example, on Nov. 14 the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) plans to host a military open house to recruit retired, former and transitioning military service members for employment at the transit agency.

“Our nation’s veterans come equipped with the skills and commitment necessary to become exceptional [WMATA] employees,” said WMATA General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles in a prepared statement.

WMATA is recruiting hundreds of candidates to fill current and upcoming positions to support the agency’s “massive” rebuilding effort known as “Metro Forward.” The positions include civil, mechanical and electrical engineers; architects; and construction inspectors and project managers.

WMATA also is seeking candidates for operations positions, including police officers, information technology, signal and communications, electrical technicians and rail-car maintenance.

To read more about railroads’ military veteran recruitment efforts, follow this link to access an article published in Progressive Railroading’s September 2011 issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/9/2011