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Winter is coming: ODOT struggling to find snow plow drivers with 500 positions open statewide

Winter officially arrives on Dec. 21.

CLEVELAND — Like it or not, winter is coming very soon. Yep, that means it won’t be long before we’re dealing with snow and ice.

Ugh.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is gearing up for the winter driving season -- but the organization says they're struggling to find enough snow plow drivers as they work to fill 500 jobs statewide.

"Finding qualified workers to fill these positions has been a bigger challenge this year," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. "We know that many other entities and industries are facing the same challenges."

ODOT says they have 641 drivers ready for the winter weather in Northeast Ohio.

"These employees often work 12-hour shifts during snow events," ODOT explained in a press release. "While most are full-time drivers, ODOT also uses auxiliary drivers. These auxiliary drivers are ODOT employees who normally do other tasks and only plow snow when needed. A third group of drivers are hired seasonally."

Although drivers are in short supply, salt is not. ODOT says they currently have more than 662,000 tons of salt on hand.

"ODOT's goal is to have primary routes back up to speed within two hours of the end of a snow event," they continued in their press release. "Crews hit that goal 95 percent of the time last winter, but if ODOT is unable to fill enough of the open seasonal position that goal might be tougher to hit this winter."

For those of you keeping track, winter official arrives on Tuesday, Dec. 21 and continues until Sunday, March 20.

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