The Union Pacific is hiring, and the nation’s largest railroad is interviewing college students at campuses around Iowa. U-P’s Jamie Herbert is head of Leadership Development and his assignment is to hire 200 new managers in each of the next three years. They’ll be working at different locations throughout the railroad system — managing the workforce that’s responsible for moving cars from one train to another, supervising safe operating practices, and being in charge of moving goods from one place to another across the whole field of transportation. For those white-shirt jobs, Union Pacific is advertising and going to college career fairs in search of business and accounting majors, as well as future engineers. There are other opportunities managing the building and maintaining of the track, signal, and bridge infrastructure, and managing the repairs and maintenance of locomotives and cars. Herbert says they also have more traditional jobs “working on the railroad.” Herbert says they’re also looking for people with the desire and experience to do the switching jobs and things like hands-on repairs. Systemwide, this year and next the railroad in all anticipates hiring about four-thousand employees. During the national recession earlier this decade, Union Pacific saw a slump in cargo shipping and had to downsize. Now, Herbert says they’re “filling the pipeline” with young people as the resurgence in business is anticipated to continue. He says there’s a second reason for the hiring boom: demographically, in the next 10 years a lot of railroad employees will be ready to retire. Training lots of young new managers now will ensure a good supply of talented people ready to step into key roles across the company. Herbert says there’s a lot of opportunity in working for the railroad, not in an old-fashioned career field but for opportunity in a graduate’s future.He says it’s not only a chance at a first job, but a chance to have a shot at diverse jobs and have a significant impact on the company today and in its future. See the jobs available and the schedule of college campus visits including Iowa and Iowa State at UP-dot-com.
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