Amtrak, DelDOT to develop ‘Railroading 101’ program | So Good News
Marybeth Luczak, Managing Editor
The U.S. Department of Labor is awarding the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), in partnership with Amtrak, an $11 million grant to fund a pre-employment training program that will prepare participants for jobs in the rail industry, Amtrak reported Oct. 6.
The “Railroading 101” program will help workers develop railroad-related skills, improve job opportunities in Delaware and build a more diverse railroad workforce, according to Amtrak.
“This grant is an example of the Department of Labor’s commitment to empowering workers and job seekers,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “Amtrak will use these resources as we work with our Delaware partners to better equip workers for railroad careers and expand our service.”
“DelDOT and Amtrak continue to collaborate on projects like the new Claymont Train Station that will open in late 2023, and this grant allows Amtrak to continue investing in the workforce and ensuring Delawareans have the skills needed to fill critical roles locally throughout their organization for years to come,” said Delaware Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski.
In June, Amtrak received an $8 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program from the Federal Railroad Association (FRA) for a three-year Mechanical Craft Workforce Development Apprenticeship training program. This program will provide professional development opportunities for current and future Amtrak employees. A pilot-mechanic training program was scheduled to begin this year; the full additional class training program was to be conducted from late 2022 through the end of the third quarter of 2025. Amtrak provides a 20% non-federal match.
Amtrak said it has hired more than 2,500 new employees by 2022, and hiring continues. In August, “America’s Railroad” announced that it had more than 4,000 job vacancies spanning multiple disciplines, including project management, finance, technology, onboard services, electrical and customer service. It planned to host 54 hiring events and career fairs to attract new talent, with a concentration in Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Oakland, Philadelphia, Miami and Wilmington, Del.