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PennDOT’s Plea for Plow Drivers, Mechanics

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. -- PennDOT officials said there is a serious shortage of seasonal workers: they need snowplow drivers and diesel mechanics and they need them now.

A.J. Wormuth of Jermyn is a PennDOT plow driver in Lackawanna County. He said, "We've got guys that are working, 15, 16-hour shifts, going home for a few hours and then coming back. We don't have enough guys, it's all just craziness you know."

Last winter, PennDOT had a state-wide shortage of workers.

Officials blamed too much competition for drivers from private companies like Amazon and the natural gas industry.

"One of the challenges that we have is trying to get young people to be thinking long term and be thinking ok, maybe a job with PennDOT doesn't pay as much as it would pay in private sector, but there are some long term benefits," said PennDOT spokesman James May.

The work is seasonal, from fall through April.

The hourly rate is $18 to $20.

PennDOT officials said the seasonal work can lead to full-time employment with the state.

"You never know when you're going to get called in, especially on the morning shift, but it's worth it. Get the job done, feel good when you're done. Realize the road is cleared, you did a good job and you shift out at the end of the day," said Wormuth.

In Lackawanna County alone, PennDOT needs to hire 9 snowplow drivers.

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