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PennDOT still looking for temporary winter workers

November 30, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is still looking for temporary workers to plow 1,924 miles of snow-covered roadway in Somerset County.

The Somerset County maintenance facility can hire up to 22 temporary operators. But press officer Tara Callahan-Henry said the department has 21 vacancies. She said the temporary workers are used to supplement full-time staff.

“Every winter, PennDOT faces the challenge of finding temporary equipment operators to supplement our staff of roughly 4,500 equipment operators who deliver our winter services,” she said. “We have seen a general decline in applications for temporary positions, but we still deliver on winter services regardless of whether we hire every potential temporary staffer.”

The county has 88 operators for its 48 plow trucks, three graders, three anti-icing trucks and 13 loaders. It has a $6.2 million budget and spent $7.6 million last year.

Callahan-Henry said PennDOT deals with the same trucker shortage issues as those seen nationwide.

“No matter if we reach the goal of hiring every temporary operator we will still deliver on winter services,” she said. “Interstates, expressways and major traffic routes will be our priorities. We can adjust work shifts and extend traffic routes onto lower volume roadways if needed.”

Callahan-Henry said anyone who is interested in applying for a temporary winter position should visit www.employment.pa.gov. According to the state website, starting equipment operators make between $15.28 and $18.31 an hour depending on the location. Requirements are on the website and include a commercial driver’s license. Duties include snow removal, traffic control, equipment repair and maintenance, guardrail repair and truck unloading.

“These temporary positions could lead to full-time employment at PennDOT,” she said.

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