SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With winter on its way, the Missouri Department of Transportation continues its search for additional snowplow drivers. MoDOT has been trying to fill 400 positions since mid-August. Now, at the end of October, MoDOT is 250 drivers short of its goal.
“It’s something we deal with every year,” Becky Allmeroth, Chief Safety and Operations Officer for MoDOT, said. “We kind of assess how many maintenance workers we have, what our turnover has been over the past several months. This really isn’t a whole lot more than a typical year. We usually run about 300-350.”
Allmeroth says 500-700 people resign from MoDOT every year, which she says is nothing new. Retirement, salary and the competition with other companies like Amazon have led to the turnover rate.
148 people are training to be snowplow drivers at MoDOT right now. To put the health and safety of workers first, Allmeroth says COVID-19 safety protocols are in place. This includes social distancing and hand-washing.
Allmeroth says even if her team doesn’t get 252 more drivers, it will be ready for the winter.
“We’re gonna be out there hitting it hard this year,” Allmeroth said. “We are prepared. We have all our salt domes full. We are working on hiring, which is that final touch. We did our dress rehearsal for winter operations, our snow drill last week. We’re ready.”
Because of MoDOT’s turnover rate, Allmeroth says to keep in mind that 20-30 percent of the drivers you see this winter might be new. She suggests giving them room, planning and stay home if the roads are bad.
Allmeroth also told Ozarks First that those wanting to drive for MoDOT do not need a CDL to apply; you will get one once you are hired.