LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It may seem early to be talking about snow, but the Department of Transportation is already preparing for this upcoming winter. They say they’re expecting more workers for blizzard season.
“Winter is right around the corner this is the time we start gearing up for winter operations and that includes bringing in the equipment, dressing it, getting it up and running, but also we take the time here to try to bolster the ranks,” Patrick Barnes, Capital District Regional Director for the DOT, said.
The DOT is looking to hire 105 permanent and seasonal positions here in the Capital Region. Statewide that number is even higher at 617. Locally, the DOT employs just over 500 people.
Barnes said there’s a statewide shortage of plow drivers and maintenance workers and those shortages can make it harder to quickly clean up the roads and manage larger storms. Regardless of numbers—the DOT has a system in place for managing those larger storms.
“Whether we are bringing in people from one shop to another, one county to another, or from Western New York to Long Island, where we need the resources we have the ability to move them to get them there,” Barnes said.
Fleet technicians and highway maintenance workers must have a commercial driver’s license and be able to pass a physical exam. More employment information can be found on the DOT employment website.
Scott Owens, a highway maintenance worker, said his work revolves around service to the entire community. “They maintain these highways and roadways in summer and winter for the traveling public so they can get back and forth to work, back and forth to go the store, do whatever they need to do in their daily life,” Owens said.