Staffing shortages could impact Kansas roads this winter

Staffing Shortages Could Impact Kansas Roads This Winter
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KANSAS – Worker shortages could impact Kansas roads this winter.

Each year, the Kansas Department of Transportation works to keep highways cleared during inclement weather. But this year, in line with workforce shortages across the nation, KDOT doesn’t have enough equipment operators.

The department says it’s about 30% short of being fully staffed with snowplow operators across the state. KDOT says the staffing shortage is worse this year than it has been in the past.

“These shortages create the potential for highways to not be cleared of snow and ice as quickly as in the past,” states KDOT in a release.

“KDOT is facing significant staffing shortages in some areas and will work proactively to clear Kansas highways by shifting crews to affected areas and pretreating highways and bridges whenever possible,” said Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Our snowplow operators work 12-hour shifts and do their best to keep the roads open and the public moving.”

To help address the shortage, the agency will deploy all employees who have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to plow snow and hire seasonal employees. For people interested in working at KDOT, go to the state’s employment website at http://jobs.ks.gov/. KDOT will assist selected applicants in obtaining a CDL upon hiring, including paying for training.

“We want motorists to understand why it could take longer this season to clear highways during storms,” said Secretary Lorenz. “Knowing this allows motorists to plan ahead, alter or even delay travel plans, which in turn helps them stay safe.”

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