Taking a Job at BNSF, Union Pacific Could Put Up to $25K Signing Bonus in Your Pocket

This year, BNSF Railway, one of the country's largest freight railroads, aims to hire 3,500 workers across the United States -- a challenge at a time when employers nationwide say they are struggling to fill vacancies.So the Fort Worth-based railroad is offering something rare in blue-collar America: signing bonuses up to $25,000 for hourly workers, including conductor trainees, electricians and mechanics."We want to meet our customers' needs, and we're going to do what we need to do to hire for our company," said Amy Casas, the railroad's director of corporate communications.Union Pacific Corp. is offering $10,000 to $20,000 "hiring incentives" to train crews in cities like Denver, Kansas City and North Platte, Neb., where its largest rail yard is located, according to The Wall Street Journal. Those jobs average $40,000 in pay over the first year and $60,000 the next.A blend of forces pushed BNSF to beef up incentives, Casas said. The national unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low (4.1 percent), and the figure has dropped to 2.8 percent in some areas of the railroad's network.  Continue reading...

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