There’s no snow in the forecast, but motorists may be seeing some Iowa Department of Transportation snow plows on roadways this week.
The Iowa DOT’s Craig Bargfrede says crews are simply testing and calibrating equipment in preparation for winter.
“And because of the large amount of new seasonal operators that we’re bringing on board, the district offices have various new operator training courses scheduled for the coming weeks,” Bargfrede says.
The DOT announced plans in September to hire nearly double the number of amount of temporary snow plow operators this year compared to the last winter season. The agency is in the process of hiring around 600 snow plow drivers.
“We started an online application process this year for those seasonal employees and so far, the response has been very, very positive,” Bargfrede says. Pay for the work ranges from $11.39 to $16.13 per hour.
Bargfrede says the boost in employment should not suggest that Iowa’s in for an especially harsh winter. “It’s more to help us augment our full-time staff to make sure we have enough people on the roads and give us the level of service that the public is looking for,” Bargfrede says.
The first snowfall in Iowa normally arrives in November, but it’s not unusual for snow to fly in October.