Passing the torch: A conversation with Michele Malski on hiring the next generation of railroaders

Michele Malski, founder and president, Succession Planning for Railroads Investing in the Next Generation

Michele Malski is founder and president of Succession Planning for Railroads Investing in the Next Generation (SPRING), which helps railroads and rail-related suppliers develop employee recruitment and retention strategies.

A second-generation railroader, Malski began her career at BNSF Railway Co., where she completed the management trainee program before becoming a trainmaster. She's also worked on the passenger- and short-line side of railroading, including as the manager of hazmat and safety training at the Short Line Safety Institute.

Malski is an at-large director on the League of Railway Women's board and is former chair of the Young Professionals Committee at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. In 2017, Progressive Railroading named Malski a "Rising Star" in the North American rail industry.

Recently, Malski sat down for an interview with RailPrime Senior Associate Editor Julie Sneider to discuss recruitment and retention trends in the rail sector, which is competing with other industries for a new generation of skilled workers and professionals. Malski began the conversation by describing how American railroad history influenced her family’s entry into the business.