CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Ohio Department of Transportation is tackling the driver shortage in a unique way ahead of the winter season.

“September is just around the corner and a lot of time we get our first snow in October,” said Isaac Hunt with District 12.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is getting a jumpstart on the upcoming winter season. According to Hunt, ODOT is looking for snow plow drivers and will even pay for their commercial driver’s license.

“Before, if you wanted to work at ODOT, you had to have a CDL or go through an apprentice program where you aren’t a full-time worker. But with this new highway worker program, we are paying you to get your CDL,” said Hunt.

Hunt said highway maintenance workers come in at over $18 an hour and, after the CDL is obtained within six months, drivers will be reclassified to a highway tech.

“Getting your CDL paid for is a big benefit, it’s about a $6,000 cost. We are paying that for you and you don’t have to worry about those fees or taking those classes. We provide it at ODOT,” said Hunt.

In addition to full-time workers, ODOT is looking for seasonal drivers.

ODOT’S goal is to have main roads cleared within two hours of a snow event and secondary roads back up within four hours.

Learn more right here.