(The Center Square) – The Illinois Department of Transpiration is putting the call out for “snowbirds.” Not the people who leave the state for warming climates during winter, but those willing to stick around to clear snow and ice-covered roads.
Paul Wappel, public information officer with the Illinois Department of Transportation, said they’re actively hiring what they call seasonal snowbirds.
“The seasonal snowplow drivers along with our full-time maintenance staff perform very important snow and ice removal on state routes,” Wappel said. “Snowbirds have to have a commercial driver’s license. It’s no secret that these drivers are in high demand right now.”
While there are reports across the country of truck driver shortages impacting recruitment, Wappel said they’re taking applications now.
“The winter workforce is looking pretty much the same that it has the past couple of years,” Wappel said.
As of Wednesday, IDOT had around 90 positions posted, paying part-time snowbirds for $20.55 an hour. Salaried full-time winter maintainers can make $4,666 a month.
Positions are available all across the state.
“IDOT plows almost 16,000 miles of roads statewide and that’s the equivalent of driving from New York and to Los Angeles and back almost six times,” Wappel said.
Those hired must be ready to get to work on short notice and in tough conditions.
“Snowbirds promptly respond to emerging weather situations for snow and ice removal and they stand at alert to work in emergency conditions at any time including nights, weekends and holidays,” Wappel said.
IDOT prepares for winter weather year-round, he said.