Orlando, Fla. – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America and Valencia College are teaming up to prepare students for careers in the rail industry. Since 2014, Brightline construction and operations has created more than 10,000 jobs with plans to fill 175 new roles in Central Florida including technical positions within Brightline’s operations and specific to the company’s fleet of trains.
Brightline’s recruitment teams are working with Valencia College to develop talent through a 22-week long Industrial Automation Technician program. The course includes five modules: maintenance operation, mechanical, electrical, hydraulics and pneumatics. The program will help students earn nationally recognized industry credentials.
As part of this collaboration, Brightline is teaming with Valencia College to prepare future engineers, conductors, inspectors and technicians for a career with Brightline and its contractors, train manufacturer Siemens Mobility USA and railroad contractor Herzog.
Today, 10 Valencia graduates have been hired to work at Brightline, including Davonne Durant, a West Palm Beach native who grew up around Brightline trains. Brightline, Siemens and Herzog plan to employ 150 highly skilled technical positions at Basecamp, Brightline’s brand new $100M state-of-the-art train maintenance facility that can service up to 16 trains at a time. Brightline jobs will start at a minimum hourly rate of $20 per hour. Brightline intends to work with other regional schools on similar programs.
“Valencia College guided me through this program, every step of the way, ” said Davonne Durant, facility engineer, Brightline Basecamp and Valencia College graduate. “The technical program at Valencia prepared me for a career at Brightline’s Basecamp with a company that is making history and in a field that will continue to grow.”
“As we ramp up for service to Orlando we need teammates with highly technical skills to work on our trains and our facilities,” shares Tom Rutkowski, chief mechanical officer for Brightline. “Once Orlando service begins, it will remain an ongoing team effort to maintain our 10 trainsets, hundreds of miles of track and our full service vehicle maintenance facility, Basecamp, and we are eager to work with Central Florida colleges to find candidates for these positions.”
“With Brightline coming to Orlando we know that there is going to be a need for technicians, so our career placement teams made contact with Brightline and Siemens to find out exactly what skills they needed,” said Tiffaney Barnes, senior director, Accelerated Skills Training Programs, Valencia College. “Our Industrial Automation Technician program is a perfect fit and we are now actively training students for careers at Brightline’s Basecamp.”
Brightline is more than 90 percent complete with construction to Orlando. As construction continues, Brightline recently made history as the fastest train in Florida reaching speeds of 130 mph during testing between Orlando International Airport and Cocoa, Fla. Opening this year, the Orlando station will revolutionize train travel in America and continue Brightline’s vision of offering a guest-first travel experience connecting two of the most congested city pairs in the nation, whisking passengers between South and Central Florida in just over three hours.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America. The company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach with its Orlando station beginning service in 2023. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About Valencia College
Valencia College was the first college in the country to win the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, based on the strength of its graduation and job placement rates, and for having the best record of transferring students to four-year colleges and universities. Serving nearly 70,000 students at 11 campuses and training centers across Central Florida, Valencia offers a comprehensive range of programs, including associate and bachelor’s degrees, career technical certificates, and short-term training programs.