According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, a shortage of snowplow drivers has made clearing roads in Oregon challenging.
The agency has nearly 40 openings for temporary and permanent positions on its highway maintenance team in the eastern part of the state, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
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“We’re trying to get creative with the shifts and we have a few days where we don’t have coverage in the early morning hours,” said Rich Lani, ODOT regional district manager.
New federal driver license rules have resulted in longer wait times for a commercial driver’s license, contributing to the driver shortage, the agency said.
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ODOT will pay new snow plow drivers to obtain the special driver’s license. Many drivers leave the agency to look for new jobs after the six-month snowplow season ends.
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“They are highly employable now,” Lani said. “They have this Class A CDL in their pocket and a lot of private industry will draw them in, pay them more money and offer year-round employment.”