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Rail News: Labor

BNSF targets moviegoers, existing employees as T&E candidates


To recruit, hire and train more than 1,700 train and engine-service (T&E) workers this year, Burlington Northern Santa Fe is searching outward and inward.

The railroad is launching a Midwestern hiring campaign under which BNSF will advertise jobs in commercials shown during coming attractions at movie theaters in Kansas City, Kan.; Lincoln, Neb.; Springfield, Mo.; and Tulsa, Okla.

The Class I also will participate in high school and college job fairs, place ads in various newspapers and continue to partner with the National Academy of Railroad Sciences at Johnson County Community College to identify recruits.

Internally, BNSF is training employees to be "Experienced First-Line Supervisors" (EFLS) under a program that encourages workers to leave their current position in another department and serve as T&E supervisors. Last month, the railroad trained 17 employees during the first EFLS class.

"I have the tools and background in safety, which can be applied just about anywhere, but I was looking for a place with advancement opportunities," said Al Stokes, a former safety engineer who completed the EFLS program, in a prepared statement. Stokes will serve as a trainmaster at Murray Yard in Kansas City, Mo.

Class I employees' annual salary averaged $61,895 last year, according to the Association of American Railroads. Conductors and locomotive engineers — in high demand among all Class Is — average annual salaries of $67,128 and $75,162, respectively.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/4/2004