Amtrak to prioritize workforce expansion as part of three-year program
WASHINGTON – Aiming to attract and retain talent, a Federal Railroad Administration $8 million grant enables Amtrak to advance its new apprenticeship program. The program launched in March of this year and will be rolled out and implemented nationally, offering a three-year career track for personal and professional advancement. With training hubs in Washington; New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Wilmington, Del.; and Beech Grove, Ind., the grant will enable the program to train over 600 employees in the next three to five years.
“Amtrak envisions an innovative apprenticeship program that merges the best aspects of training with the latest in railroad technology, with one key objective in mind: The creation of a highly skilled, qualified, and engaged workforce,” said Amtrak President & CEO Stephen Gardner. “Helping us meet our staffing goals well into the future, we would like to thank the FRA for allowing Amtrak to invest in and grow its talented workforce and our union partners for making this all happen.”
“This FY21 CRISI grant will mean more good-paying jobs for Americans. The new employment opportunities and re-training of existing employees will increase Amtrak staffing and result in better service for riders,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “Workforce development programs like this one are essential to maximize the unprecedented rail investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“As the nation’s largest transportation labor federation, we know that new worker training and apprenticeship opportunities will help fortify Amtrak’s hiring and retention pipeline,” said Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO. “We applaud the Biden Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration for investing in Amtrak’s workforce and creating good-paying jobs in the passenger rail industry.”
Creating a talent pipeline for existing and new employees, the program provides a career track for personal and professional advancement at Amtrak. The grant follows a launch of Amtrak’s Apprenticeship Pilot Program earlier this year which aimed to create a talent pipeline for existing and new employees. The grant will allow the team to more rapidly expand the program across additional crafts and locations.
Regardless of their specializations, all apprentices must take core courses including safety, environmental awareness, personal protective equipment and others before meeting their mentors and moving into combined classroom and hands-on instruction, then branching off into craft-specific training. After three years of training, students take a final exam and become fully qualified craftspeople in their field.
Whether starting a career, looking for new opportunities or an experienced career professional, Amtrak’s goal is to connect talented people to Amtrak career opportunities. Along with offering well-paying, rewarding work that has already led to more than 1,500 new employees this year, Amtrak offers hiring bonuses and relocation packages to fill critical positions. Committed to fostering an environment where diverse ideas, backgrounds and perspectives thrive, Amtrak aims to provide career growth and satisfaction through a wide range of professional and personal opportunities that help enable a work, life balance while empowering employees to reach their full potential.