(WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation is looking to fill around 500 seasonal plow driver positions across the state as it prepares for the winter season.
ODOT has more than 3,300 drivers who often work 12-hour shifts during snow events. While most are full-time drivers, ODOT also uses auxiliary drivers.
These auxiliary drivers are ODOT employees who normally do other tasks and only plow snow when needed. A third group of drivers is hired seasonally, according to ODOT.
“Like every other employer right now, we are struggling to find qualified workers to fill these positions this year,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “We’re doing everything we can to recruit the help we need to supplement our winter operations, but we do have concerns about finding drivers and mechanics in this challenging job market.”
ODOT’s goal is to have primary routes back up to speed within two hours and secondary routes within four hours of the end of a snow event. Crews hit that goal 95 percent of the time last winter, according to ODOT.
If ODOT is unable to fill enough of the open seasonal positions, that goal might be tougher to hit this winter.
“Our men and women take great pride in ensuring you have the safest conditions possible to get where you need to go and that will never change. What might, unfortunately, change is the speed with which we’re able to accomplish that important task,” Marchbanks said.