June 26, 2013

Manchin Applauds Amtrak's Goal to Hire Veterans for Twenty-Five Percent of New Employees by 2015

Washington, D.C. – As co-chairman and founder of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus and the “I Hire Veterans” initiative, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today joined Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Michael L. Rhodes with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to announce that Amtrak is setting a goal of 25 percent of new hires to be veterans by 2015. Senator Manchin delivered remarks at the ceremony and urged Amtrak to display the “I Hire Veterans” logo to show the company’s commitment to hiring veterans.

“As I’ve always said, if you want to help a vet, hire a vet. Thankfully, companies like Amtrak are doing their part in the fight to reduce our veterans’ unemployment rate. It is my hope that other smart businesses will follow Amtrak’s lead,” Senator Manchin said. “I am proud that Amtrak joins our list of supporters in the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, and is putting their money where their mouth is to reduce the stubbornly high unemployment rate facing our veterans.”

“The leadership, reliability and high-tech skills veterans bring to the job are a great resource to the operation of America’s Railroad,” said Boardman, a Vietnam veteran. “I’m honored and proud to add more of our country’s service men and women to the Amtrak team.”

To meet this goal, Amtrak is partnering with recruiting groups that focus on veteran hiring, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes, the Wounded Warrior Project, RecruitMilitary and Army PaYS. In addition, the Amtrak Human Capital department is participating in more than 30 military job fairs across the country. To meet the demand of employee vacancies due to retirement and new projects, Amtrak expects to hire more than 3,000 employees over the next year. In fiscal year 2012, more than 14 percent of new hires were veterans. 

Senator Manchin and Representative Denham joined many of their colleagues in launching the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus in 2012. The caucus currently includes 110 Members of Congress who have vowed to work to decrease the unemployment rate of the nation’s 744,000 veterans who are currently looking for work. The caucus’s signature initiative is the “I Hire Veterans” program, which urges companies like Amtrak to display a logo proving their commitment to employing veterans.

To view photos from the ceremony, please visit my website here.

To watch a Vine video from today’s ceremony, please click here.