During the past year, Norfolk Southern has been on a hiring spree across northern Ohio to beef up operations at Bellevue Yard.
“We’ve done interviewing sessions at midnight,” said Wil Washington, terminal superintendent. “Expanding the yard, hiring new people, running the operation – it’s been challenging over the past year, to say the least.”
During 2014, Bellevue added more than 160 new employees. The majority, 110, have been conductor trainees, in high demand to handle the yard’s rising freight volume. Working with NS’ Human Resources Department on a workforce diversity initiative, Bellevue formed a Thoroughbred Recruiting Outreach Team – called TROT – that included female operations employees.
“Part of that was to get as many female applicants as possible, and we’ve gotten a really diverse group of new people on board,” Washington said.
NS’ senior management has projected that 275 new jobs will be created by the expansion – a nearly 40 percent increase over the 700 employees who reported to Bellevue before the expansion.
While transportation has had the most hires, mechanical and engineering forces are growing as well.