PennDOT needs to hire another 25 seasonal snow plow operators in Westmoreland County, with early winter weather on the horizon. It currently has 13 on the roster.
About 100 seasonal plow drivers normally are hired to help treat and clear roads throughout District 12 — including Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties, according to PennDOT officials. But, each of the counties has so far fallen short of its hiring target.
The state transportation agency competes with other employers to hire from a depleted pool of qualified workers who have a commercial driver’s license, said PennDOT Safety Press Officer Jay Ofsanik.
“Most people are working, so you don’t have an excess of unemployed personnel,” he said. “In Southwestern Pennsylvania, we’ve had an uptick in the gas and oil industry, and those industries typically use a lot of CDL drivers. For the most part, those jobs pay more per hour, so it’s tough competition.”
PennDOT pays drivers $16.72 an hour to start. Ofsanik noted seasonal work sometimes can lead to a permanent position.