PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- PennDOT has fewer than half of the workers it needs to plow roads in the northeast this winter. It's a problem officials attribute to a good economy.
It may be hard to believe since parts of our area hit 80 degrees on Wednesday, but October is typically when we see our first snowfall, so the pressure is on for PennDOT to find temporary winter workers.
Six years ago, Michael Glowacki of Falls took a chance and applied for a temporary job with PennDOT. It all worked out, and he still looks forward to getting behind the wheel of a snow plow, even heading into his seventh winter.
"If they like to drive, and be available 12 hours a day, or 24/7, you just got to be dependable and able to work," Glowacki said.
PennDOT is hoping more people take the chance Glowacki did and apply for a job to drive or fix plow trucks this winter.
"I started about six years ago, as a temp, came back every year, every season. I was off in the summer and every fall they'd call you back, 'Come back for your drug screening,'" Glowacki said.
"If you can get your foot in the door with PennDOT, it's a great way for long-term. There's a lot of stability that comes with this type of job, and many times there's some benefits that you may not have in the private sector," said PennDOT official James May.
The private sector is PennDOT's competition and officials say since the economy has improved, there are more, higher-paying private jobs available.
That means PennDOT has fewer than half of the drivers it needs to plow public roads this winter.
"So, what we will do, if we're not able to hire all the slots that we have available, we'll go to private contractors, and then the guys that work for us will do a lot of overtime throughout the winter. That's our plan to make sure we get the roads covered, but right now we really need especially drivers and diesel mechanics are the two positions that we're looking for," May said.
PennDOT's temporary winter jobs pay between $18 and $19 an hour and usually last through March. Call 570-963-4061 or visit the PennDOT jobs website.