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Six largest Class Is make G.I. Jobs' top military friendly employers list

All six of the largest Class Is have landed on G.I. Jobs magazine's 2014 list of the "Top 100 Military Friendly Employers," with two ranked in the top four and one in the top 50.

The list includes Union Pacific Corp. at No. 2, CSX Corp. at No. 4, BNSF Railway Co. at No. 47, Norfolk Southern Corp. at No. 75, CN at No. 98 and Canadian Pacific at No. 100. Last year, G.I. Jobs pegged CSX at No. 2, BNSF at No. 5, UP at No. 13, NS at No. 32 and CN at No. 44. CP wasn't ranked.

The magazine's 2014 selection criteria included the strength of a company's military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs, and policies on National Guard and military reserve service.

UP, which is ranked for the 11th time in 12 years, so far this year has hired nearly 800 military veterans, including 91 who are disabled. Veterans comprise about 20 percent of the Class I's workforce and about 24 percent of new hires over the past five years.

The railroad employs a reservist policy that compensates all employees called to duty for any difference between military and company pay, and continues to provide health plan benefits for dependents when employees are deployed. The Class I also offers UPVETS, an employee resource group devoted to attracting, developing and retaining employees who are veterans.

The railroad actively recruits veterans and transitioning military service members through its involvement with military transition offices, military education offices, reserve and National Guard units, career fairs, information sessions and employer panels, and representation on local military committees and boards, UP officials said in a press release.

"Military training instills dedication and a goal-oriented work ethic that translates very well to the railroad," said UP Vice President of Human Resources Roy Schroer, adding that the Class I's veteran population continues to grow.

BNSF also seeks to recruit personnel transitioning from military to civilian life, military members with prior service, retired veterans, and members of the National Guard and Reserve. Since 2005, the Class I has hired more than 6,000 veterans.

G.I. Jobs' 2014 list also includes Schneider National Inc. at No. 10, GE at No. 11, J.B. Hunt Transport Services at No. 14, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at No. 67, Siemens at No. 82 and Cubic Corp. at No. 99.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/12/2013