Railroads offer big incentives for new workers - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Railroads offer big incentives for new workers

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Do you love trains? How about working for the railroad?

Two of the nation's top rail transportation companies are now offering big employee incentives that could turn into a huge economic impact for Texoma.

The problem? With high tech and office jobs, not as many people feel the adventure to hit the rails. So in an effort to get more potential workers back on track, Union Pacific and BNSF are dangling impressive hiring bonuses up to $25,000.

"It's an effort that we've rolled out in order to attract the best quality applicants," said Union Pacific spokesman Jeff DeGraff. "We're being very aggressive with this program and hoping to find the best applicants this way."

It is an attractive incentive Union Pacific has never offered on such a large scale. But as unemployment shrinks to a nationwide average of 4.1 percent, they've had to come up with new ways to increase interest in railroad jobs.

"We know that right now the employment market is pretty tight, which is a good sign for the economy, but that good economy also means more demand for freight rail," DeGraff said. "So we're working hard to build up our team so we can meet that demand."

Union Pacific's primary need is for train crews -- conductors and engineers who operate the trans across the railroad's 32-state network. But they also have openings in a wide range of positions.

The signing bonuses will be distributed in multiple payments, and the final payment won't come until after the employee has worked for two or three years.

"That way it serves as not just a signing bonus, but also a retention bonus, so that we can make sure we're hiring folks that are looking to stick with us for the long term," DeGraff said.

Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway Company -- the nation's largest freight rail network -- released a statement saying they are offering incentives starting at $15,000 which will be paid over three years. BNSF said it plans to fill more than 3,500 hourly positions. 

Here are links to job information at both companies:

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