IDOT in need of temporary snow removal operators for the season ahead

Local News

ILLINOIS (WCIA)– The state Department of Transportation is preparing for the season ahead as snowflakes start to fall in Central Illinois.

IDOT starts the search for a thousand licensed snow removal operators every August, and that search has continued into November.

“We want to get them hired as soon as possible,” said Paul Wappel, IDOT’s public information officer.

Wappel couldn’t pinpoint exactly how many snow removal operators are still needed but he did say the need still exists for the annual “Snowbird” program.

The pay is hourly at a rate of $20.55, according to Wappel.

Operators would need to be available on an on-call basis from the first sizeable snowfall through April, and the job would require some weekend and night-time hours.

“They serve a vital service to the state of Illinois,” Wappel emphasized. “I mean we have approximately 1,800 plows that we put into service and we cover nearly 16,000 miles of road statewide, and that’s the equivalent of driving from New York to Los Angeles and back almost six times.”

In several cases, Wappel said the temporary work has led to full-time employment with IDOT. He said the hiring process will continue until they reach a thousand operators.

The “Snowbird” program helps to keep roads clean across nine districts. Click here to see the openings by district.

IDOT hires another 1,500 temporary full-time workers to maintain the highways every year. That crew is paid a salary by the month.

Wappel said some of last year’s staff returned so far this year and they’re already being put to work throughout the state.

A CDL license is needed to apply for either program.

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