- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Employer Spotlight: CSX Corporation

by Heidi Russell Rafferty, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: American Military University

Railroads and the military have more in common than most people would realize. And at CSX Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla., veterans are finding new careers in a thriving industry where their dynamic qualifications are needed and recognized.

"When I received the invitation to interview with CSX, I discovered how closely the company works with the military by moving equipment for deployments," says Stacy Anderson, manager of military and diversity recruiting and a U.S. Air Force veteran. "I also found how much they value military experience. My experience adapting to change and extensive travel helped me secure my first position with the company as a contract recruiter."

CSX is one of the leading transportation companies in the United States. In 2010 alone, it is projected to hire former military in 283 locations throughout the eastern half of the country. One in five employees is a veteran.

Skilled, craft and hourly union positions are open in four departments. Engineering requires people to maintain tracks, facilities, bridges and signals. CSX Transportation and Intermodal Department needs workers to coordinate the movements of goods from one destination to another. Those in clerical support the business and customer service. And the mechanical department maintains locomotives, rail cars and equipment. As for those in management, there are more than 20 areas of opportunities, Anderson says.

Safety training is provided on the job, online and in academic settings, Anderson says. All employees in any union or management trainee positions attend basic railroad training at the Railroad Education and Development Institute (REDI) in Atlanta, Ga. The REDI is a state-of-the-art academic and hands-on training facility.

CSX has a full-time, four-person military recruiting team, who target all military Transitional Assistance Programs (TAP) at more than 100 U.S.-based military facilities. Anderson is one of those recruiters.

"In my transition, I sought to find an organization that allows me to feel that I am still serving my country. Working for the railroad was not originally on my radar as I searched for a new career," she says. "I researched the transportation industry and discovered what a vital part the railroad is to our nation."

She also discovered that, like the military, CSX has strong values. For example, in the Air Force she was on the flight line as an aircraft armament technician. Maintaining the electronic weapons system and loading the weapons of F-15 and F-16 aircraft could not be done without safety being a top priority, she says. CSX also requires people to place the same priority on safety.

"From ensuring that I wear safety glasses while cutting grass at home to the simple act of pushing in a chair, safety is always number one," she says.

She also noticed that CSX places an emphasis on the phrase, "People make a difference." When she has had to travel in bad weather, her managers call to make sure she's arrived at her destination safely. They also care about her family members. "Just knowing that my well-being is important to my co-workers makes a major difference in how I regard my work for the company."

For more information on career opportunities, click on the "Careers" link at

Freelancer Heidi Russell Rafferty isa reporter with 19 years of experience who writes about employment and business issues.

Return to May/June 2010 Issue