The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) more than doubled the number of U.S. military veterans hired by the agency in 2013, the result of President Forrest Claypool’s efforts to promote and expand the hiring of veterans.
In 2013, the CTA hired 194 military veterans, bringing the total number of veterans working for the agency to 353. Veterans have joined the CTA in a wide variety of positions, from bus operators and flagmen to mechanics and customer-service assistants. Seventeen now serve in manager or coordinator positions.
“The CTA recognizes and values the experience of our country’s veterans, and we believe that experience translates very well to employment with the CTA,” Claypool said. “Many veterans, by virtue of their military service, are well-equipped to serve this agency and its customers.”
“Chicago’s military veterans have given many years of their lives, made numerous personal sacrifices and taken untold risks to protect our nation and we applaud the CTA’s commitment to putting more and more of them to work serving their ridership," said Will Schmutz, director of veterans affairs for the city of Chicago’s Department of Family & Support Services. “Our vets are exactly the types of people who Chicagoans will be able to depend on to work hard, look out for the well-being of the CTA’s riders and help keep the buses and trains running on time.”
Efforts to increase veteran’s hiring began in May 2012, when Claypool signed the CTA’s first-ever executive order creating a veterans hiring preference. The order set a CTA goal to attract at least a 20 percent pool of veterans during the application process for positions, including drivers, mechanics, engineers, managers and other workers.
Additionally, prior to any vacancy being posted, CTA reviews and adjusts job descriptions, where applicable, to account for “equivalent experience” to reflect military experience. For example, a posting for bus mechanics would take into account a veteran’s experience servicing military vehicles or equipment.
Lastly, during the interview rating process, a veteran’s experience is factored into the candidate’s overall score. “These steps ensure that veterans continue to receive the consideration they deserve when they are seeking employment with CTA,” Claypool said.