PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Many employers throughout the commonwealth are having a hard time filling open positions and PennDOT is no exception.
Heading out for your morning commute isn’t always the easiest, especially in the winter when there is a possibility of the roads being icy or snowy and you’re probably driving in the dark. We spoke with one man in Pittston township who says if the roads are bad, he won’t even go out for his morning commute.
“Terrible. Real terrible. If you don’t have four-wheel drive, it’s nasty if the roads don’t get plowed, I don’t go out,” said Moosic resident Ricky Morin.
Penndot is trying to prevent that from happening by actively seeking more than 600 temporary equipment operations throughout Pennsylvania for this winter.
The department typically only hires 400 people for this position annually but with a lack of full-time employees, they’re trying to hire more than 200 extra people.
“I think every employer is facing a shortage. Penndot is no exception. We are looking for drivers, mechanics, clerks. We have a variety of different positions we are hiring for across the state,” said PennDOT District 4 Community Relations Coordinator Jessica Ruddy.
PennDOT says last winter there were 301 crashes resulting in four fatalities and 143 injuries in snowy, slushy, or ice-covered roadways. Some drivers are concerned about whether there will be enough drivers to plow the roads.
“If I gotta get to work, I’m going to lose my job. If I’m scheduled and the roads aren’t cleared. They’re not trying to hear that,” said Morin.
But you can rest assured. PennDOT says even if they don’t get enough drivers, they will do what they have to do to plow the roads.
“Whether we have enough drivers or not, we will cover the routes. We will make sure we either pull people from other counties or we might have to extend the time from 2-4 hours to make sure all the routes are covered,” said Ruddy.
At the end of the day, despite needing hundreds of employees, PennDOT is confident it will be able to handle the winter ahead.
To find out how you can apply and more details on the positions visit the PA State Employment page.