Labor shortage: Snow and ice a worry this winter, as ODOT looks to fill 500 plow positions

COLUMBUS — Snow and ice may not be top of mind for most Ohioans in October, but the Ohio Department of Transportation are concerned that the labor shortage impacting so many industries could have a major impact this winter.

“We are struggling to find qualified workers to fill these positions this year,” director Jack Marchbanks said, as ODOT works to fill 500 seasonal plow driver positions. “We’re doing everything we can to recruit the help we need.”

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“In past years when we’ve had hiring events, we’ve had 50-60 people come through the doors,” PIO Mandi Dillon said. “This year, we had about five.”

ODOT’s goal is to have primary routes back up to speed within 2 hours, and secondary within 4 hours, but say that goal will be tough to hit if these seasonal positions stay open. If these goals are not hit, the Miami Valley could see a domino effect on the roads, in the form of traffic backups and accidents.

Anyone interested in a seasonal position with ODOT is encouraged to apply here.

While the department continues to recruit potential drivers, they say 300 mechanics are busy doing checks on their equipment, to ensure any repairs can be made now before the start of snow season.