Vermont’s Agency of Transportation is dealing a staffing shortage that could affect snow removal this winter.
Todd Law, VTrans deputy division director, says the agency needs about 30 more plow drivers. The unfilled positions — 12 in Chittenden County — could lead to longer routes or reduced levels of service.
“It’s making things a little more tense than they normally are,” said Law.
Law says the staffing shortages have led to more responsibilities for employees and, as a result, some workers have seen their hourly wages rise from $14 an hour to $19. Employees with a commercial drivers license can earn more.
Bryan Osborne, director of Colchester’s Public Works Department, says his department is fully staffed and prepared for winters. “The town of Colchester has absolutely no shortage of snow plow drivers. We are fully operational and ready to go for the winter,” said Osborne.
Chris Di Stefano, president of Di Stefano Landscaping, Inc. in Essex Junction, says while he isn’t experiencing a surplus of employees, his company is also prepared for the season.
“We’re fully staffed out for the winter season,” he said.
But until VTrans can fill the gaps, Law says it will be all hands on deck this winter. Supervisors and other employees, who typically oversee different operations, will likely be out on the roads as well.
Vermonters are encouraged to apply for full and part time positions.