At Norfolk Southern, the most creative thinking about ways to enhance safety and customer service often comes from operations employees, who bring diverse backgrounds and experiences. The company’s Corporate Innovation Council in 2013 created HorsePower to tap into that talent.
HorsePower chapters act as local “think tanks” for employees to brainstorm and collaborate. To encourage companywide participation, InnovatioNS sponsors an intranet site for employees to submit, discuss, and rate ideas.
After Norfolk Southern completed an expansion of the Bellevue, Ohio, rail yard, the Lake Division HorsePower chapter created a video tour of the terminal from an aerial vantage point. The video will be used as a tool to orient and train new hires.
Transportation employees developed a water-resistant tool bag so conductors can keep their hands free while walking alongside track to check rail cars during train-emergency situations.
Police Department employees learned about and adopted a cloud-based software that enables them to use a smartphone as a push-to-talk device to communicate with two-way radios.
The Norfolk HorsePower chapter is developing a numbering system to make it easier for employees in the 20-story McKinnon headquarters building to locate co-workers, conference rooms, and other areas. The idea is designed to enhance security, save time, and orient new employees.
In 2014, Norfolk Southern hired 2,249 new employees, with conductor trainees making up more than half the hires. The railroad created good-paying jobs in every state in the company’s 22-state network. The top state was Pennsylvania, with 554 hires, followed by Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, Virginia, and Illinois.
As a Fortune 300 company, Norfolk Southern offers competitive pay and benefits to attract a talented and diverse workforce. A range of career opportunities is available, from professional management and operations supervisory jobs to unionized craft positions responsible for maintaining rail cars and locomotives, replacing track, and operating trains.
More than 80 percent of the company’s workforce is represented by trade unions. The unionized positions pay well, offer stable employment, and do not require a college degree. The compensation for hourly craft positions is well above minimum wage, starting at around $40,000 annually for conductor trainees, for example, and rising to between $50,000 and $75,000 as they become conductors and gain certification as train engineers. Those figures do not count benefits, which include medical, dental, and vision coverage, 401(k) plan with company match, education assistance, paid vacation and holidays, and railroad retirement.
See the Career Paths section on Norfolk Southern’s website for more information.
|Governance & Nominating||4||1||4||1||5|
under 30 0
|Black or African American||3||3|
|*Senior management includes CEO, president, executive vice presidents, and vice presidents|
|FEMALE||MALE||TOTAL||% OF WORKFORCE|
|Black or African American||701||3,185||3,886||13.0%|
|*As of 12/31/2014|
|*As of 12/31/2014|