Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Industry Spotlight: Transportation


A recent article by Adam Stone in Military Times Edge titled “Why transportation companies want vets” explores the demanding transportation industry and how it is well-suited for transitioning veterans, including Orion International alumna Kelly King. Stone turned to Tim Isacco, Vice President of Sales at Orion, to discuss this industry in relation to veterans. Isacco explained, “Transportation is one of the five hottest industries recruiting veterans right now.” One reason veterans fit so nicely into this industry is that transportation companies need technicians and logistical experts, which are readily found in the military community.

The railroad industry is one in particular where veterans flourish, in particular because of the demanding 24/7 environment. “Veterans who liked the rush of military operations tend to thrive in these jobs,” said Dave Ebbrecht, Executive Vice President of Operations at the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. And the former ranks of the veterans in this industry run the gamut. Enlisted technicians are sought after for their technical and craft skills, while Senior NCOs and Junior Military Officers are often placed in entry-level leadership positions.

Stone lists six qualities that veterans are wise to highlight in their resume when applying to a job in this field. Discipline and work ethic rank number one. “The rail industry is a tough industry,” Isacco told Stone, “You might have to be out in the railyard when it’s snowing at night, or when it’s raining at night, because the rail runs 24/7, just like the military.”

Attention to detail is next, followed by communication, and organization. Flexibility is another required quality. This quality is one in which Kelly King, a former Army Captain and recent Orion placement with Kansas City Southern Railway Company, revels. King, Director of International Rail Operations Support, deals with customer service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection issues. “On any given day, I can’t tell what I’m going to be doing. It’s a great thing. I enjoy that,” says King. Leadership experience is also required in this industry. In fact, Stone points out that transportation companies that recruit veterans understand the scope and relevance of their military leadership experience.

King also enjoys the tight-knit quality of this industry. “I’ve been able to get out in the field and meet conductors, engineers,” said King, “It’s funny, when they ask me how long I’ve been in the industry — anything less than 10 years, you’re still young.” As this industry continues to grow, as is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans like King will continue to find challenging and satisfying careers.

Read the original article.

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