(The Center Square) – If you ever dreamed of driving a snowplow in the dead of winter, the state of Illinois is looking for you.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking for qualified persons to apply for seasonal positions to help with snow and ice removal on the more than 45,000 miles of road across the state. Through the department’s annual “snowbird” program, temporary snowplow drivers are hired every year on a full-time and on-call basis.
“The calendar says September, but snow-and-ice season will be upon us before you know it, as well as a great opportunity to help serve the public,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.
Applicants must have a commercial driver’s license and submit a criminal background check. A pre-employment physical, vision testing and drug and alcohol screening also are required.
Spokesperson Maria Casteneda said this is ideal for idle school bus drivers out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a great opportunity for many of the people who work seasonal driving jobs, as well as this year we are calling out to those school bus drivers as well who hold commercial driver’s licenses,” Casteneda said.
In some cases, participants in the program have become full-time employees.
Dealing with the results of winter weather, depending on how severe the winter becomes, costs IDOT $25 million to $30 million a year for snow removal alone.
According to the Farmers Almanac, Illinois will experience a colder winter in 2020-2021 with more snow than usual.
For information, go to idot.illinos.gov.