Maine can't fill snowplow driver positions as state faces record snow levels

By Ray Downs  |  Dec. 25, 2017 at 7:38 PM
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Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Parts of Maine could see record-breaking snowfall this winter, but the state is running short of snowplow drivers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Maine's Department of Transportation has about 50 open positions as it faces an expected 30 snowstorms during the rest of the winter season. But the state has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and filling the snowplow positions has proven to be difficult.

"It's really the shortage of workers," Dale Doughty, the Maine transportation department's director of maintenance and operations, told the paper.

The Maine DOT pays drivers between $13.54 and $18.46 per hour with winter bonuses of up to $1,000.

To deal with the shortage, state officials have looked outside of the state for help.

The state hired Ohio-based First Vehicle Services to provide 10 year-round hourly workers in two Maine cities, with the potential to add 40 more. The company will use equipment and vehicles provided by the state, the Portland Press Herald reported.

"We struggled last year to keep plow truck drivers in the seat in the two most populated counties in Maine," Doughty said. "We want to provide the public with the level of service they demand."

This is the second year in a row he Maine DOT has had difficulty filling snowplow driver positions.

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