Amtrak CEO helps military veterans find new careers


Posted on April 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 6:41 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- When Amtrak President Joe Boardman toured the train car replica at the National World War II Museum, stories of soldiers leaving their families reminded him of his train trip to join the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

"I'm going to get emotional here, because when you're 17, you really wanted to do for the country," said Boardman.

Now as Amtrak CEO, Boardman is campaigning to hire veterans, saying the skills learned in the military are what the passenger railroad needs.

"We need people that can operate trains," Boardman said. "We need people that can do well with our customers, conductors and all the time knowing that the most important job here is safety."

Desert Storm veteran Will Hardy is now an Amtrak conductor.

"Working with Amtrak is the same as being in the military," said Hardy. "Your camaraderie, the friendship. It's like a family here."

Army corporal Marshall Fleming is a 24-year Amtrak veteran.

"401K, first of all. You can save for retirement," said Fleming. "Your health benefits are, I think, second to none."


Amtrak began the campaign to hire military veterans last summer. Iby Hampton, Jr. was hired just a month ago. By the end of 2015, they hope that one in four Amtrak employees will be military veterans.

"Every day, me being new, someone has walked up to me and introduced themselves to me, so it is a very good company to work for," said Hampton.

"We're looking for people that know how to get the job done," Boardman said.

For Amtrak employment information for military veterans, click here.