Veterans

July 12, 2012

Railways industry announces job opportunities for vets

Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines considering separating from the active-duty military this year may seek employment options in the railways industry, which today became the latest to pledge jobs to veterans.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the 5,000-job pledge in a conference call with reporters, making rail the latest industry to offer jobs as part of the Joining Forces campaign. He was joined by Ed Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, and Navy Capt. Brad Cooper, director of Joining Forces, which First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, created to help service members, veterans and their families.

Obama and Biden announced the hiring campaign last summer, with a goal of hiring 100,000 veterans or military spouses by 2013. Today, Cooper said, 1,600 companies have signed on to the Joining Forces challenge, hiring 90,000 veterans and spouses with pledges to hire 170,000 more in the coming years.

What is unique about today’s announcement, Cooper said, is that the 5,000 rail jobs are open now or in the very near future. They are listed on the association’s website, http://www.aar.org.

The jobs, offered by about 500 companies, range from operating locomotives to working in signaling and telecommunications. “It’s the whole spectrum of work,” Cooper said. Most of the jobs are in freight rail, but also with Amtrak, commuter rails and rail supply companies, he said.

The industry is hiring because it’s growing, Hamberger said, with some $23 billion in investments at the same time that nearly a quarter of the freight rail workforce will be eligible to retire by 2015.

“We want to reach out and let veterans know that we’re hiring,” he said.

The industry has actively recruited veterans since it sought out military academy graduates to build the first railroad system more than 200 years ago, Hamberger said.

“We’ve learned that the skills service members learn in the armed forces translate very well to our industry,” he said. “We, first and foremost, are focused on safety. You learn in the armed services that if you don’t follow the rules, bad things happen.

“We need teamwork, dependability, and high tech,” he added, noting that military experience builds those skills.

The rail industry made more than 20,000 new hires last year –which was more than 5,000 than it expected – and one in four are veterans, Hamberger said.

Improving the nation’s railways and hiring veterans are two of President Barack Obama’s priorities, LaHood said. “Today’s generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world,” he said. “The president has asked that we serve them as they have served us.”

About 15,000 veterans work for the Transportation Department, LaHood said, and 3,000 of those have disabilities, many from their military service. The department recently created a Web portal – http://www.dot.gov/veteranstransportationcareers – “that tells our returning warriors what jobs are available and how they can become certified,” he said.

“Helping our veterans find work and fulfilling our transportation needs is a win-win,” he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NoBarriers_pict

Raytheon, No Barriers seek wounded warriors for transformational expedition

Injured in Afghanistan when a rocket-propelled grenade struck near a Humvee, Nick Colgin suffered a traumatic brain injury. The decorated Army vet could no longer spell his own name or walk without a cane. In fact, he could...
 
 

VA announces new rules regarding service animals in VA facilities

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing...
 
 

VA launches no-cost training to transitioning servicemembers

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today launched two new no-cost training programs, Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs) and VA Learning Hubs, to help transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans from all eras learn skills, earn credentials, and advance in civilian careers following separation from service. ALPs and Learning Hubs are part of VA’s Veterans Economic...
 

 
Congeniality_pict

More than just Ms. Congeniality: Airman competes for homeless female veterans

For Tech. Sgt. Charmaine Pozo, the Ms. Veteran America contest was not about glamourous pageantry. It was about tireless advocacy – for a minimally acknowledged segment of those who have served in uniform: homeless female...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie)

Veterans visit D.C. monuments, memorials through Honor Flight Network

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Whether standing at the Air Force memorial or silently observing the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery, a program gives military veterans the chance to see monuments and landmarks in...
 
 

VA begins Summer of Service to bolster volunteer assistance

WASHINGTON, DC—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a new nationwide initiative designed to build upon its existing partnerships to grow the number of individuals and organizations serving Veterans in their communities. The Department is renewing its commitment to Veterans and embarking upon a “Summer of Service” that seeks the help of citizens across...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>