INDOT says worker shortage isn't affecting snow plow routes this winter
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- It’s officially that time of year again when we have to have a snow scraper in our car, but despite some states facing severe driver shortages, INDOT says they’re not concerned about the hiring process in fact they’re doing better than last year.
“We raised our wages, it’s $20 an hour now if you have a valid CDL, so it’s been pretty good for us right now. We’re not looking at any shortages," said Cassandra Bajek, Public Relations Director INDOT Northwest
Snowplow driver shortages have been hitting nationwide ahead of this winter, but at the moment – it doesn’t seem to be an issue for INDOT. Mostly thanks to sign on and retention bonuses.
“We have room to add some drivers if people were interested, but we’re not really worried about it," said Bajek.
While the state isn’t struggling to hire, St. Joseph County says staffing is down 20%, causing some routes to change this year.
St. Joseph County Engineer Sky Medors said in a statement, "This worker shortage is frustrating for everyone and I hope that our residents understand we will get to their roads as quickly as we possibly can without sacrificing the safety of our drivers, or the travelling public at large."
Although some community members have concerns about supply chain issues affecting salt this winter, INDOT says it restocks year round so it has enough ready to go for the full season.
“We’re only gonna use salt when it’s appropriate so we’re gonna have to keep a really close eye on what the conditions are so that we make sure we’re making very logical decisions we’re not wasting any materials and we’re using them when they’re gonna be effective," said Bajek.
The St. Joseph County Highway division will host interviews for snowplow drivers next Thursday from 10 am-2 pm at the Riverside Garage.