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​For Immediate Release​

Freight Railroads Promote Rail as Potential Career to Future Job Seekers

AAR Joins U.S. Transportation and Railroad Officials at Olive-Harvey College Career Expo in Chicago

CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2013 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today is highlighting the many positive aspects of a railroad career to students from Olive-Harvey College as they weigh their future prospects in the nation’s workforce.  AAR joins Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), City Colleges of Chicago and freight railroad representatives from around the country at the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Expo taking place today at the Chicago-based college.

Throughout 2013, freight railroads expect to hire more than 11,000 people for well-paying jobs across the country.  Freight rail employee compensation including benefits averages $108,900 per year, with jobs ranging from engineers and dispatchers, to law enforcement, to information technology and industrial development.​

“Railroads have always been vital to Chicago’s economy and Chicago has been at the center of the American railroad economy since its inception,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “We want to grow and expand this industry in the future and will do so because of the energy, ideas and innovations of Chicago’s young residents along with the critical investments we are making in the College to Careers program at City Colleges. Events such as the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Expo demonstrate that railroads offer tremendous opportunities to build lifelong careers and create economic opportunity throughout our city and in our neighborhoods.”

“Railroads are the life blood of so many communities.  They connect us, move the economy and they provide meaningful employment for thousands of people.  As our economy expands, and our population grows, job opportunities with railroads are only going to increase in the future,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Karen Hedlund. “That is why it is so important to reach out to young people, like the students at Olive-Harvey, to encourage them to enter the field of railroading.”

“Events like the Expo are vital to ensuring the rail industry remains successful,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “The rail industry is always looking for ways to recruit the best and the brightest students and we encourage young Americans to explore the tremendous opportunities that a railroad career has to offer.”

“Chicago has long served as a transportation hub for the nation.  In fact, nearly 110,000 jobs are expected in the transportation, distribution and logistics field alone in the Chicago region over the next decade.  With support from industry partners, we are working to ensure that Chicagoans are prepared with the skills to hit the ground running in this fast-growing field,” said Dr. Craig T. Follins, President, Olive-Harvey College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago and hub for the system’s transportation, distribution and logistics program.

AAR has produced a video highlighting today’s freight rail industry, which includes firsthand interviews with railroad employees.  To learn more about working at railroads, visit for more information and links to railroad hiring websites.  

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For more information contact:  AAR Media Relations at or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world's leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter: AAR_FreightRail or Facebook:​