WILMINGTON, Del. — Amtrak and the Delaware Department of Transportation have been awarded an $11 million grant to fund a new “Railroading 101” training program.
The funds from the U.S. Department of Labor will offer a program to develop railroad-related skills. It will also improve job opportunities in Delaware and build a more diverse rail workforce, Amtrak said.
Government officials hailed the program in a press release, with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) saying, “It’s great to see Amtrak and DelDOT receive a grant award for their work to support a future of well-paying rail jobs here in Delaware. … I like to say that the government doesn’t create jobs, but we can support a nurturing environment for job creation. With this grant from the Department of Labor, we will support an industry that takes cars and trucks off the road and ensure it maintains a talented workforce.”
Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said the grant “is an example of the commitment of the Department of Labor to empower workers and job seekers. Amtrak will use these resources as we work with our Delaware partners to better equip workers for railroad careers and grow our service.”
Amtrak says more than 2,500 new employees have joined the company this year, and that it offers career opportunities including “well-paid, rewarding jobs, along with hiring bonuses and relocation packages for select critical roles.” The passenger operator continues efforts to rebuild its staffing in the wake of pandemic-related layoffs and buyouts. The staffing issues have led to service reductions and decreased capacity because of sidelined equipment [see “Delayed return of ‘Cascades to Canada shows Amtrak employment challenges: Analysis,” Trains News Wire, May 19, 2022].