In 2015 and 2016, the BNSF Railway Company laid off thousands of employees as shipments of oil, coal and grain began to decline. The railway company wasn’t the only one of its kind to lay off workers, but things have changed since then. The economy has gotten better and now BNSF Railway Company is looking to hire workers.
There is only one problem though. The BNSF Railway Company wants to hire train engineers and yard workers in Denver and Chicago, Montana, Kansas and other states, but the unemployment rate is making that task difficult for the company. The United States unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The company is having a difficult time filling positions, so it is offering hiring incentives of up to $20,000 according to its website. There is a catch with the hiring incentive though. Employees would receive the incentive over time when they reach certain points in their career, like finishing training.
“We are constantly evaluating the market and will use this approach when it makes sense to recruit talented individuals for hard to fill positions or locations,” BNSF Railway Company spokeswoman Amy Casas said to the Wall Street Journal.
The positions offering the $20,000 hiring incentive will pay workers around $40,000 during their first year of employment, and then their salaries would be raised to around $60,000 the following year.
Working on a railroad is not easy. The hours are long, employees can end up spending days away from their homes and working conditions are difficult.
BNSF Railway Company has over 32,000 miles of tracks that stretch over 28 states. It is the largest freight railroad network in North America, and it currently employs over 40,000 people.
Other companies like Norfolk Southern Corp. are also looking to hire workers. It wants to hire over 1,000 conductor trainees, but it isn’t offering a hiring bonus like BNSF Railway Company.
BNSF Railway Company wants people who are wanting to apply for a conductor trainee position to be of 18 years of age or older, to be able to work on call 24-7, to be able to go to a work location within 90 minutes of being called in, and to be able to work on uneven surfaces. Other factors like drug tests and a medical evaluation will also come into consideration during the hiring process.
If you or someone you know would be interested in working for the company then visit www.jobs.bnsf.com.