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PennDOT to hire 11 snowplow operators in Westmoreland County

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, 11:57 a.m.

If you have a commercial driver's license, PennDOT District 12 officials want to put you behind the wheel of a snowplow.

The department hopes to hire 11 additional temporary winter operators in Westmoreland County. Throughout the four-county district, there is a need for 38 total, district executive Joe Szczur said.

"One of the problems is that there's such a shortage of qualified drivers in our area of the state," Szczur said. "We need CDL drivers. Between trucking companies and now the Marcellus shale industry in this area, it's been tougher to get them."

District 12 has 200 winter trucks, and Szczur said that in bad winter weather, "we want to man them 24/7 during emergencies."

Szczur said district officials typically try to hire about 100 temporary winter operators who start at $15 per hour with benefits.

"Those people accrue seniority, and as full-time positions become available, we do hire from our temporary driver list," he said.

In Greene and Washington counties, Szczur said, a significant number of retirements have shrunk temporary driver lists.

"If someone in, say, the construction industry is looking for work in the off-season, they can come on with us," Szczur said. "We'll usually keep them on until March or April, and they also help in getting roads patched and potholes fixed."

Interested applicants can apply online at Employment.PA.gov, by clicking on the "PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program" link.

Applicants can indicate in which county or counties they are interested in working.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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