ODOT, city officials worry about plow driver shortage as winter draws closer


(WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found that it could take longer to get your roads plowed this winter.

The problem ties into a national trend of businesses and government agencies struggling to find enough workers.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is having difficulty finding all of the plow drivers it needs. If the ads popping up online and on social media don’t attract enough candidates, it could affect your driving.

“Just like across the nation, we are having issues with recruitment and having folks come on board with us,” said ODOT spokesperson Amanda McFarland.

She said ODOT is doing all it can to attract plow drivers, including recruitment events statewide with drivers hired on the spot..

If the hiring falls short, we asked what we can expect when the snow falls.

“Folks are going to have to expect that the roads aren’t going to be cleared as soon as the snow stops.
If we don’t meet those hiring goals, it might be more hours after the snow falls before traffic is back up to speed,” McFarland said.

The City of Cleveland, City of Akron and Hopkins Airport are also hiring plow crews.

The I-Team showed you last winter that the City of Cleveland was trying to hire plow drivers even in January. We checked into openings posted now and discovered the city doing interviews while looking for more people to apply.

The City of Akron released a statement saying, “We will be hiring seasonal workers and have actually already posted that job listing. We are not currently anticipating any issues with staffing.”

However, this comes as we’ve seen shortages locally and nationwide with the number of bus drivers, healthcare workers, crossing guards and more.

The weather in Northeast Ohio this week has been gorgeous, so drivers we met Wednesday say they’re not even thinking about winter driving yet.

ODOT pays plow drivers $18.59 an hour.

Find out more about ODOT jobs here.

You can find out more about the Akron jobs here.

Learn more about Cleveland openings here.

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