Veterans

July 11, 2012

Railways industry announces job opportunities for vets

by Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

Air Force photograph The USS Hornet had 16 U.S. Army Air Forces North American B-25B Mitchells on deck, ready for the Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942. Seventy-three years ago, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off fr...
 
 
Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood

Over 27,000 burial sites to open at Arlington next year

Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood Construction crews move dirt and prepare the ground at the Arlington National Cemetery Millennium Expansion Project, Feb. 19, 2014. The project also involves restoring an impaired stream tha...
 
 
Navy photograph by JOC Sam Shavers

SecNav commemorates Battle of Iwo Jima

Navy photograph by JOC Sam Shavers Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivers remarks at the 70th anniversary commemoration ceremony of The Battle for Iwo Jima in Iwo To, Japan. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus arrived on Iwo To, ...
 

 

Applications accepted for 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently accepting applications from Veterans interested in competing in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Applications can be completed online at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov, and will be accepted through May 15. Veterans ages 55 and older who are enrolled for VA care are eligible to participate. The 2015 National Veterans...
 
 

VA eliminates net worth as health care eligibility factor

The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve. Effective 2015, the VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care programs and...
 
 

VA establishes MyVA advisory committee

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 13 the establishment of the MyVA Advisory Committee. The committee brings together skilled experts from the private, non-profit and government sectors to assist in reorienting the Department to better meet the needs of Veterans. This committee is charged with advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a focus...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>