Thread: BNSF Employment
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:01 PM   #12
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Default Additional Perspective - Salem IL

UP plans presentation in Salem, Illinois

In a joint effort to assist the Union Pacific Railroad with finding people to replace several employees that will be leaving the railroad because of retirement and in an effort to help stimulate the local economy, the City of Salem Economic Development Department has jumped on board the Union Pacific train in an effort to fill many anticipated career openings with the company for the Salem, IL area in 2006 and 2007.

Nationwide, Union Pacific (UP) will be replacing about 52 percent of their work force over the next 10 years. Their immediate needs include an estimated 5,000 employees being hired nationwide in 2006. The reason for the turnover in employment is the fact that the age of their work force is creeping upward, and retirement will take its toll, along with an increase in business for the company. At present, there are around 49,000 employees, with the average age of UP personnel being between 45 and 51.

Following a meeting set up by the Salem Economic Development Department that included Bill Blakney, field recruiting manager of the Central Region for Union Pacific Corporation; Art Borum, director of the South Central Illinois Growth Alliance; Bob Stephenson, business service representative for Faces of Opportunity, a branch of the Illinois Employment and Training Center; and Kelly G. Bennett, director of Business and Industry at Kaskaskia College, the City of Salem Economic Development Department will host a Union Pacific Railroad career presentation on Thursday, Feb16, at 17:30 at the Salem Theatre.

The presentation by Blakney will inform interested individuals about the career opportunities available to prospective employees. The information will also cover the application and hiring process for Union Pacific Railroad. UP is mainly interested in hiring individuals for positions in the transportation/ operation department, specifically in train service. The positions would include brakemen, switchmen, conductors, and locomotive engineers. These positions have an approximate beginning wage of $40,000 and up to $75,000 per year if one is fully “marked up” after approximately five years.

Economic Development Director David Foster said, “We are very pleased to be able to work with Union Pacific Railroad and Bill Blakney. We are glad to be able to offer our services to help them however we can. Salem is excited that Union Pacific will be coming into the community with more good jobs.”

Union Pacific Railroad is an operating subsidiary of Union Pacific Corporation. It is the largest railroad in North America, operating in the western two-thirds of the United States. The railroad serves 23 states, linking every major West Coast and Gulf Coast port and provides service to the east through its four major gateways in Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans. Although Union Pacific Railroad’s primary role is transporting freight, it also runs a substantial commuter train operation in Chicago. - Bob Haney, The Salem Times-Commoner
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