CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The winter season is arriving quickly, but PennDOT has filled only about 50 percent of the temporary positions it has for plow operators.
PennDOT has been in this position before, actually for a handful of years now.
“We just aren’t seeing the people coming in who are qualified to work,” PennDOT spokesperson Fritzi Schreffler said.
PennDOT put out a call last year for 150 temporary operators and received over 400 applications.
“Out of that group, about 300 were either not qualified or just didn’t bother to show up for an interview, and we were only able to hire 92 people to work extra in the winter,” Schreffler said.
PennDOT says temporary winter jobs may not seem the most attractive, but within eight counties, the organization is down to only 25 full-time operators, which increases the likelihood of upward potential.
“A lot of these temporary operators are then eligible to be hired full time,” Schreffler said. “The problem ends up being when we are hitting a big storm and we’re on 24/7, in terms of our guys out there for 12 hours at a time. When we need people to replace them for the next 12 hours, that’s where we’re starting to hurt.”
PennDOT says they need more positions filled in order to have additional assistance when a severe storm hits.
Currently, signs for commercial driver’s licensed drivers are posted on roadways and PennDOT has been reaching out at career fairs. They’re hoping to get drivers on the road for a dry run in early November.
“We do take this very seriously because everything we do is for the safety of the public and to make sure you can get from point A to point B as safely as possible,” Schreffler said.