CTA and U.S. Army sign MOU to recruit veterans

Feb. 20, 2023
The Army’s Partnership for Your Success Program prepares soldiers for careers outside of the military.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the U.S. Army signed a memorandum of understanding on Feb. 15 that will see CTA join the Partnership for Your Success Program (PaYS), a recruiting initiative that prepares Army soldiers for their future after their military service is complete.

“CTA is committed to becoming an employer of choice for veterans because we recognize and value their unique experiences, skills and knowledge,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Through recruitment and partnership efforts, we strive to offer the support and resources our veterans and their families need to succeed in our community and workforce.”

CTA is working to recruit and strengthen its workforce, and the Army PaYs partnership will provide the agency a new direct recruiting channel for veteran men and women of the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves, Army National Guard and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

CTA points to its history of welcoming veteran workers and states it is committed to recruiting even more veterans whose skill sets and experiences gained through the military translate well and are a natural step into numerous CTA positions.

To help increase veteran recruiting and better serve those who are currently employed by the CTA, several new initiatives have recently been implemented, including:

  • Participation in multiple local and military-based job fairs
  • Partnering with organizations such as Recruit Military to post positions and expand the veteran applicant pool
  • Building a CTA veteran resources website that includes a career transition assistance tool, which matches Military Occupational Specialty codes to CTA-specific positions
  • Establishing Veteran Employee Resource Group – also known as VERG -- an internal veterans’ committee called to expand the Veteran footprint at CTA and better serve veteran employees and their families by providing them with information on available benefits, offers, discounts and opportunities

CTA has expanded recruitment and hiring efforts as part of the “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan. New operators and mechanics are needed to help CTA address an industry-wide worker shortage, the main contributing factor behind current service reliability challenges.

The CTA is currently offering a $1,000 hiring bonus, plus eligibility to earn retention bonuses through December 2023, based on hire date. In addition, the starting hourly rates for select union positions have recently been increased, including that of full-time bus operators (now $28.99, with a top pay rate of $38.66) and for bus mechanics (start at top rate now $40.59).

The PaYs Program currently has more than 1,000 partner organizations and has help employ more than 280,000 soldiers.

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