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Amtrak, Delaware receive funds to support rail job training

By | October 6, 2022

$11 million federal grant to fund ‘Railroading 101’ program

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Amtrak logoWILMINGTON, 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].

12 thoughts on “Amtrak, Delaware receive funds to support rail job training

    1. Oh so many responses but here are 2.

      1) Couldn’t be that a majority of Senators and Reps voted to invest in passenger rail and that two of Amtrak’s main shops are in Delaware, placed there long before Amtrak existed

      2) Whose in power distributing funds does have consequences, rather have any bias towards greener transportation due to the above and a President who believes in Trains as opposed to a supposed multi-millioneer showering huge tax cuts on true millioneers and billioneers and subsidizing already profitable dirty transportation helping make life on this earth harder and harder,with the disadvantaged hurt first

      1. Mr. Adams – you must be the product of public school miseducation.
        2 things – “millioneer” isn’t a word, and you have no clue as to who is causing the disadvantaged to suffer in the current economy. It’s Biden and his big-government socialist policies, coupled with out-of-control spending by Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats in Congress, that are causing the poor and middle class to suffer under record inflation and sharply increasing energy prices. The last 2 weeks have seen a precipitous drop in the stock market due to the bad economic news that has wiped out trillions of dollars from the retirement funds of millions of average Americans. One more thing – green energy isn’t green. I hate to burst your bubble, but the power needed to run all the electric vehicles the government wants to force everyone to drive will come from coal and natural gas-fired power plants. Solar and wind power are grossly inefficient and unreliable. The mining operations required to provide the materials for making big, heavy batteries cause a lot of environmental damage. Disposing of used batteries will be another huge strain on the planet. The green economy will create nothing but more poverty and a declining standard of living for all but the wealthiest types like Al Gore and the rest of his liberal buddies. Do you think any of them will stop jetting around the globe in their polluting, carbon-spewing private planes, or set their thermostats to 80F. in the summer while insisting that the rest of us make sacrifices for the common good?

          1. My response to your comment was not centered on that point; it was your inability to spell and your ignorant comment about the suffering of the disadvantaged because of the use of “dirty transportation” that led to my attempt to educate you on the reality of so-called “green energy”. Additionally, long experience with the horrendous inefficiency of government programs to effectively administer allocated funds and actually solve the problems they were created to fix, leads me to not blindly accept what the advocates say in their PR-based, focus-grouped press releases. Finally, I need to make another point about the suffering of the disadvantaged – all you need to do is take an honest look at the situation on the Southern border with Mexico to know that Biden and the libs don’t care a whit about the suffering of the poor, human trafficking, covid safety, kids in cages, national security, and the epidemic of teenage drug overdose deaths from all the fentanyl that had been pouring over the border every day since they assumed power last year.

  1. Just further evidence of how the obvious lack of a rail savant in Congress and its staff continues to stagnate and prevent any serious accountability by Amtrak’s senior leadership.

    In essence, before dolling out federal funds for this project, “Railroading 101,” where was the curiosity, concern, and investigations over what created the need for DOL to financially support Amtrak?

    Frankly, if Amtrak was a publicly-traded firm, it would have been beholden to its stockholders, who would have demanded compensation for the horrific errors in judgment perpetrated at the beginning of the pandemic–and a change in leadership, both management and Board. After all, if Amtrak had made business decisions based upon solid experience and with common sense, it would not require now an $11 million grant to clean-up the self-made mess created.

    Instead of demanding answers for this record of failure and superficially viewing the proposed Gulf Coast passenger service, Congress should demand an in-depth review into the basis of those decisions; demand new Board members capable of providing “hands-on” stewardship; create a corporate management team with solid railroad credentials.

    Otherwise, Amtrak will continue to rely upon generous federal grants to compensate for bad decisions that can only inhibit Amtrak’s ability to grow, and prosper.

  2. When I was in high school in the 1950s we had a choice of electrical, machine shop, wood shop and auto repair to induce students to pursue good paying vocational trades. This provided sufficient craftsmen to supply the needs of industry and retail service providers. The last of these tradesmen are now retiring and the upcoming supply will not meet the demand. Railroading 101 will benefit all of the railroad industry, not just Amtrak. But we need similar programs to encourage students to pursue careers in all the skilled trades, including those that railroads need to function properly.

  3. Surprise, surprise, more money for Amtrak and more money for “Amtrak Joe’s” home state of Delaware. Did the Biden family get their cut thanks to Hunter’s wheeling & dealing ….( and “10% for the big guy?”).

    To Mr. Wheeler’s points above about ‘Green Energy’ yes, there is nothing ‘Green’ about ‘Green Energy’ and this manic, frantic shift to ‘green’ electric vehicles (EVs) and the like is fraught with all sorts of unintended (and poorly understood) negative consequences for the environment (as Mr. Wheeler also points out above). Although, “Green Energy” is providing an increasing share of electricity generation (about 30% now), fossil fuels will be the primary source of power generation for many, many decades to come. ‘Carbon-neutral’ by 2035 (or whatever year some pinhead politician dictates) is a complete joke ….

    Even if the U.S. could completely get off fossil fuels entirely tomorrow (or even soon), China will continue to burn fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, if not forever, and the amount of GHGs spewed into the atmosphere will continue to increase.

    And of course the ‘Greens’ don’t even want to talk about nuclear power as the most ‘green’ energy source ….

  4. How about we lose the political rhetoric. Trainsmag is not the forum for it.

    Amtrak has two major shops in Delaware, both inherited from PRR. Bear is South of Wilmington, on the line to Dover. Wilmington Shop is North of Wilmington Station on the Main Line to Washington.

    Beech Grove is Amtrak’s “other” shop outside Indianapolis. Since they repair long-distance cars which are in short supply (Amtrak has the cars; they don’t have servicable cars).

    We should applaud the effort to train new workers for these shops.

  5. we need to train a new generation of workers to continue this essential work but today’s younger folks would rather sit in the comfort of their homes and sit in front
    of a keyboard all day pressing buttons or many folks have their head in the clouds trying to build new cities on the moon or perhaps Mars while the Earth plunges further into chaos and decay. We still need to train people to keep life flowing and grwoing on Earth and to keep things operating here. New mindsets and rethinking is needed here and should be encouraged
    Joseph C. Markfelder

  6. As noted by others, most young people don’t want to work in jobs that require hands on skills. I am now retired but had a good career in the residential energy efficiency field. I had a four year business degree but it was all the training I got on the job and at technical schools that gave me a rewarding career. So training programs like these focusing on the railroad industry should lead to rewarding well paying careers to students not afraid to do manual labor in connection with the technical requirements of todays ad future railroad equipment.

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