What’s Involved in the Amtrak Training/Employee Development (TED) Strategy?

Learning at Amtrak

After reading the recent announcement regarding the Amtrak TED Strategy Project and our journey toward creating a “learning culture,” many may stop and ask what exactly a TED Strategy is…and what it does?

The Amtrak TED Strategy Project does more than just look at what training Amtrak employees need.  In fact, the strategy assesses every aspect of how to run a learning organization like a business and recommends the best path to take in the next three to five years.  In the Amtrak TED Strategy Project, a number of important topics will be addressed to create a learning culture, emulate One Amtrak Way, and benefit your daily life:

  • You’re getting the training you need, at the time you need it.
  • Amtrak employees are receiving the same training on non-job specific topics (for example, one Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course provided for all employees across Amtrak).
  • Amtrak is making the most effective and efficient use of training dollars to ensure employees get the most and best learning opportunities available.
  • Amtrak is providing learning opportunities to “upskill” yourself for future career opportunities.

These are a few of the key topics the strategy will address.  While there is a great deal to consider, and much to accomplish in the coming years, implementation of the strategy will help Amtrak continue to be a place people want to work, learn, grow and be the best they can possibly be.



Creating a Learning Culture at Amtrak

Learning at Amtrak

Creating a Learning Culture that Supports One Amtrak Way…Defining a Strategy for the Future is the First Step

Amtrak strives to promote and measurably improve knowledge sharing, professional and technical development, learning and continuous improvement of all of our employees. The focus of this goal is creating a learning culture and knowledge‐based workforce at Amtrak.

Amtrak’s Integrated Talent Management and Total Rewards strategy have been in effect for two years now, and is a cornerstone in building One Amtrak Way and achieving our strategic goals. A project to build an Amtrak-wide Training & Employee Development strategy is underway which will begin shaping a culture that prioritizes learning as critical to our success.

A core working team of Amtrak colleagues from across the Business Lines and the functional areas has been partnering throughout their organizations to collect current-state data needed for this project and illustrate “how training gets done” today. This team has done a great deal of work to collect the right data from the right people. We hope you will join us in applauding their continuing effort.

The Training & Employee Development strategy will be the blueprint for transforming Amtrak into a learning culture and contributing to an Integrated Talent Management and Total Rewards environment that develops, attracts and retains the best fit talent and offers ongoing development and growth opportunities for colleagues who have made Amtrak the great organization it is today.

Stay tuned for more information and a progress update!


Email: The Yin and the Yang of it!

Email Etiquette

By Wanda Parker-Smith, University Recruiting Program Manager

It doesn’t matter if you are a Millennial or a Baby Boomer — email etiquette reminders are always good to have in your back pocket. Like it or not, email is still the most commonly used communication in today’s workplace. I’ve seen it all in my tenure at Amtrak.

Heck, I remember when we didn’t even have email! Millennials, can you imagine?! Maybe that’s why I still believe in certain situations, a face-to-face or telephone conversation may be the best communication style. That’s lesson number one for my Millennial colleagues. Lesson number one for my Baby Boomer colleagues is sometimes email is safer and smarter, and sometimes you just have to adjust your communication style depending on with whom you are communicating.

I guess it’s the yin and the yang of communicating today. Without further adieu, below are a few tips from me on how to effectively communicate with your colleagues via email:


  • Identify why you are writing to the recipient(s) in the subject line.
  • Think about what you want to say before typing your message.
  • Keep your email message short and concise.
  • An email message is a reflection of you. Always read over your email message before hitting the “send” button.
  • Check your email often and respond to the sender in a timely fashion. If you need additional time to research an issue, acknowledge the email and let the sender know when you will have an answer.
  • Think about whether “emoticons” are appropriate when communicating with an executive in your organization.
  • Prepare an automatic response to senders when you will be absent from the office. Identify a contact person or provide your cell number if the sender needs immediate attention (good customer service skills).
  • Use Instant Message (IM) appropriately in the workplace. IM messages are designed to be short and to the point. If the receiver is unavailable to have a conversation, refrain from sending repetitive messages.


  • Hit the “respond to all” button if recipients don’t need to read your message.
  • Discipline or fire an employee via email.
  • Send an email when you are angry. Remember, emails can be saved and forwarded to other individuals in your organization.
  • Forward jokes, chain letters or other inappropriate emails to your colleagues.
  • Type your message in all “capital” letters (this is identified as yelling or shouting).
  • Use “jargon” (i.e., RRB) if the recipients are not familiar with your company’s terminology.

Bottom line…. if you have to think too hard before you send an email then perhaps a face-to-face or telephone conversation may be your best bet.  Just say’ in.

#AmtrakCareersTIP: Feedback=Power


By the Amtrak My CareerTrack Team

Feedback may not always be what you want to hear, but it is a powerful source of information for individuals at all career stages.  Consider the saying, “You can’t fix, what you don’t know is broken”.  Whether or not you agree with what others think of you, it is helpful to know how you are perceived by others so you can take action to improve your standing at work.  Rather than just going through the motions of the End-of-Year Wrap-Up, use the process as a way to gain insightful knowledge about yourself and other’s perceptions of you at work.  Below are some tips for receiving feedback so that you can make the most of it.

  • Solicit feedback in clear and specific areas – For instance, ask for examples of how you perform specific tasks or work interactions or in an interview situation consider asking for examples of why you were selected for the job interview.
  • Seek to understand the feedback – You do not need to agree with it to understand it.  Often times it will be more helpful for you to understand why you are thought of in a certain way opposed to arguing about why it is not true of you.  Remember other people’s perceptions of you are their reality and affect how they interact with you.
  • Paraphrase the feedback that you receive – This will show that you are listening and can provide an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings.
  • Request information related to the impact of your behavior – Try to get insight on how your actions impacted your interview, work products/processes, individuals and work groups.
  • Request suggestions for how to improve areas of weakness and leverage your strengths – Whether feedback is positive or negative, try to get some guidance on how to strengthen your performance.


LinkedIn Video: Top Five Profile To-Do’s

So, you want to join Linkedin to help with your Amtrak career development or your Amtrak job search?

Regardless of your current job status, having an updated Linkedin profile will help you in your career growth.  If you are a current Amtrak employee, your Linkedin profile allows you to become a brand ambassador and further connect with your Amtrak colleagues.  You may also find your Linkedin profile will help others find a new career on #TeamAmtrak.  If you are actively seeking a career at Amtrak, an updated and complete Linkedin profile will help Amtrak recruiters understand what sets you apart from other candidates.

To help you get started, below is a great video by Linkedin of the top 5 profile To-Do’s to get you started. And to top it off, we’ve provided an additional 10-point checklist.

BONUS 10-Point Linkedin Profile Checklist:

1. Set you vanity URL

By default, your Linkedin URL includes numbers and characters and is quite long. Customize your Linkedin URL by adding your name when you are editing your profile and include this on your resume and email signature.

2. Include Other Web References
Add a link to your personal website, Twitter account, blog, or other links to your profile within the “contact info” section.

3. Include a Summary
This is your opportunity to highlight the best of your experience and skills. Be sure to write this summary in there first person.

4. Embed Media
Add work related documents, video, images, audio in your summary, work experience and education sections.

5. Education
List your concentration, major or minor and certifications for all institutions you’ve attended.

6. Status Updates
Keep your profile updated and regularly update your status. A status update may include a link to an article, information about a professional conference you are attending, or you may consider asking a question of your network to encourage interaction.

7. Groups
Join college alumni groups, professional associations, and any industry or company related groups such as the Amtrak IT Jobs, Amtrak Veteran Careers, and Amtrak Students.  Select to share the group badges on your profile and visit the group often to participate in discussions by answering questions or sharing links to interesting articles.

8. Get 100% Complete
Help recruiters understand what sets you apart from other candidates by completing your profile with awards, honors, and certifications.

9. Make It Public
If you are an active job seeker, help recruiters find you by making sure your Linkedin profile is viewable by everyone. You can edit your privacy settings at any time.

10. Start connecting
Connect with your current colleagues, classmates, and industry professionals.

Not sure how to edit your profile?  This Linkedin tutorial will help.


#Amtrak Careers and Compensation


The Top 10 Things to Know About the Amtrak Career & Compensation Structure

Amtrak’s new Career & Compensation Structures increases visibility into the knowledge, skills and abilities required to excel in individual functional roles and provides direct line of sight to future career paths and opportunities at Amtrak.

Here are 10 quick things you should know about the Amtrak Career & Compensation Structure:

  1. Reinforces the four principles of Amtrak’s compensation philosophy:
    • Marketplace Competitive
    • Pay for Performance
    • Career Progression & Growth
    • Transparency
  1. Creates the same anatomy for all Amtrak titles to ensure consistency and better align with titles commonly found in the marketplace. Amtrak’s titles consist of three parts:
    • Level – the hierarchal position within the career structure (e.g. Specialist)
    • Function – the job family or function to which the job is associated (e.g. Finance)
    • Organization Role – the essence of the job – is it usually paired with a function to more fully describe the nature of the work (e.g. Manager)
  1. Establishes consistent titles, organized into bands with zones defined by compensation at the marketplace median.
  2. Updates some Amtrak titles to more accurately reflect job content and marketplace best practice.
  3. Defines the core competencies required for every non-agreement role at Amtrak. That way, you know the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to be successful and you can identify development opportunities to help you close any gaps.
  4. Identifies the required behaviors, characteristics and abilities are outlined for each level based on Amtrak’s core competencies.
  5. Provides managers with a tool to guide their Performance Conversations and better support the development of their team.
  6. Creates a consistent framework to evaluate the three key components of compensation across the company.
  7. Validates compensation zones by using the marketplace median as the anchor for the midpoint and built the range around that marketplace analysis.
  8. Defines a salary range or zone that establishes the minimum, midpoint and maximum. The entire range is reflective of the marketplace and based on benchmarking data.

The Amtrak Human Capital team developed the Career & Compensation Structure with help from a cross-functional team. The team worked closely with Amtrak leadership and directors to review existing job documentation and consolidate job classifications and validate against the marketplace.

Are you ready to join the Amtrak team?

Search jobs by keyword or location at jobs.Amtrak.com now!

Dear #AmtrakCareers: Do I need a resume?

Dear Amtrak Careers

Dear Amtrak Careers: I am a current Amtrak employee, and I am ready for an Amtrak career change. Do I need a resume?

Having a solid and effective resume can actually improve your chances of landing your next job at Amtrak. A great resume is your first opportunity to make an impression on a recruiter or hiring manager. Being able to concisely summarize your skills, education, and experience is essential to career advancement.

These 6 resume tips are intended to help you put forth the best possible impression of yourself on paper.

  1. Organized Format
    Use a traditional chronological resume format that provides concise detail around your experience. Keep the format simple with traditional fonts (Arial or Times). Don’t forget your contact information – make it easy for the recruiter to get in touch with you.
  2. Introduce Yourself
    Include yourself in a short summary at the top your resume highlighting your most impressive career achievements at Amtrak. This summary is a good opportunity to list your Amtrak volunteer experience.  If you’ve volunteered for National Train Day for the last five years – let it be known! Participating in company sponsored events show you are an active and engaged employee.
  3. Relevant Experience
    If you are experienced in your industry, you do not need to list the very first job. If you’re a recent graduate, list part-time jobs, internships, volunteer work, or coursework relevant to the job. Avoid listing hobbies that are not relevant to the job.
  4. Keywords
    All companies have acronyms keywords unique to their business (i.e. Safe2Safer) – highlight this knowledge on your resume to reinforce your company knowledge. Have a look at the job description and include these keywords in your resume.
  5. Be optimistic, but realistic.
    Do not apply for a job because you “know you can do” it or you are a “quick learner.”  Remember it’s not a numbers game.  It will not help your job search efforts by applying for every open position.  In fact, applying for too many jobs in a short period may be interpreted as a lack of career focus.
  6. Spelling and Grammar
    Read your resume or cover letter out loud to yourself. If you find yourself stumbling over words, you will want to revise and eliminate redundancy and don’t forget to use spellcheck! You’d be surprised how many resumes are passed over because of an unfortunate misspelling.

Do you have an Amtrak Employee Profile?

This article applies to Amtrak Employees only.  

By Natalie Renée Stewart, Amtrak Human Capital Business Partner

Hey Amtrak employees… where do you want to take your career? Do you ever wish your manager and leadership knew more about your skills and education?Now there is a way to record all of your skills and abilities in the new “Personal Profile” found in the Amtrak Career Development tool, My CareerTrak.

Frequently Asked Questions about your Amtrak “My CareerTrak” Personal Profile: 

  • What is the personal profile? The personal profile is your online Amtrak resume where you can record your education and work history, personal/professional association memberships status, certifications, career interests, and many other pieces of your personal and professional life.
  • Why is it important? It is a great way to share information about yourself to support  development, growth, and potentially link you to career opportunities within Amtrak.
  • How will it be used? It will be used to help support Recruiting Management, Talent Management/Development, and Succession Planning and most importantly it supports ongoing career conversations.
  • Who has access to it? 
    • You.
    • Your Manager.
    • Your Human Capital Business Partner.
    • Talent Acquisition Managers. (If you apply for a position within the new Recruitment Management System.)
  • When can I update it? Now, log on to My CareerTrak and select the “My Info” tile and select “Personal Profile.”
Providing learning and development opportunities and promoting from within are commitments we make as a company that leads to career growth for our employees.


10 Things You Need to Know About This Online Newsletter

About the new Amtrak Human Capital Newsletter: Amtrak Careers
  1. Newsletter topics will include major initiatives as related to our employee benefits, career development opportunities, diversity programs, our culture and more. Articles are grouped for your convenience.
  2. This online newsletter is intended for past, present and future employees.  Some of the articles may be targeted to current employees but will be informative for anyone who is interested in learning more about a career at Amtrak.
  3. This is a public online newsletter, and the content published is suitable for anyone with an interest in a career or career growth at Amtrak. Some of the links included  will require a secure login, so if you are not an Amtrak employee you will not be able to access the content.
  4. Connect with our recruiters on social media. This is a great way to stay informed about career opportunities at Amtrak. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and our company page on Linkedin.
  5. Never miss a newsletter article. You can sign up to receive real-time updates using the “Subscribe via Email” link.  We will send you an email every time we publish a new article.  You can opt out of these emails at any time
  6. You can search this online newsletter for content based on keywords. This will be a dynamic resource for you regardless of your Amtrak employment status.
  7. You can read content on your desktop or on your mobile device.  You do not need to sign in or subscribe.
  8. You will find a link to our career site where you can search for and apply for jobs at Amtrak and learn more about our culture.
  9. This newsletter is primarily written by the Amtrak Human Capital team.  Other Amtrak employees will be invited to become guest writers which will provide you with even more information about our company. Get to know our Newsletter editorial team.
  10. Please note some of our newsletter contributors are on Linkedin, or we have included a link to the Amtrak company profile on Linkedin.
And one more for good luck…
    11. We hope you enjoy reading about Amtrak careers.
Connect with us on social media:
@AmtrakCareers on Instagram linkedin Follow us on Pinterest Read Employee stories on Tumblr Follow us on Twitter

Letter From the Editor

In November 2013, I sent an email to my Amtrak colleagues announcing plans to re-launch a Human Capital Newsletter.  The plan for our newsletter was to send it via a quarterly email with the hopes of reaching all of Amtrak and to share major initiatives or areas of interest within Human Capital that may influence the careers of our more than 20,000 employees.

As our newsletter plans developed, we realized the greater goal for communicating was to provide a resource for employees — past, present and future. We understand there is a great deal of information pushed out daily, and your time is limited.

After great thought and many discussions to find a communication tool that will be informative, fun to read, authentic and transparent it is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of this online newsletter.  An online newsletter dedicated to all Amtrak employees.

This online newsletter will focus on the work that the Amtrak Human Capital team is leading in support of employees at Amtrak. We will discuss major initiatives as related to our employee benefits, career development opportunities, diversity programs, our culture and more.  Most importantly, you can read when your schedule will allow.  Our quarterly emails will remind you that we’re here.

Listed below are 5 articles from the online newsletter that you might find interesting:

  1. 10 Things You Need to Know About the Human Capital Online Newsletter
  2. Are you a STAR? Interviewing at Amtrak
  3. Amtrak Launches New Career Site
  4. Getting to know the Amtrak Employee Service Center
  5. Do you have an Amtrak Employee Profile?

Thank you,

Uzma S. Burki
Director, Corporate Organizational
Effectiveness & Leadership Development

P.S. Get to know our Newsletter editorial team.

Connect with us on social media:
@AmtrakCareers on Instagram linkedin Follow us on Pinterest Read Employee stories on Tumblr Follow us on Twitter