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MODOT deals with driver shortage as it gets ready for winter weather

Missouri Department of Transportation
A snowplow clears a Missouri road

MODOT has lost an average of 70 employees each month for the last six months.

A statewide drill Thursday, October 21, will prepare Missouri Department of Transportation employees for winter weather as the agency faces a shortage of workers.

The winter operations drill is more important than ever, according to MODOT, because of high turnover rates and many open positions.

Becky Allmeroth, MODOT’s chief safety and operations officer said the agency sees an average turnover rate of 600 employees, but this year is different.

“For the last six months, we’ve been losing over 70 employees a month, so we are on pace to lose over 800 employees," she said, "and it's for the same reason that you're hearing some of those other driver-based service industries that are struggling. There's just more jobs out there than there are operators that hold that CDL.”

Twenty percent of MODOT’s plow operators have less than two years of experience, according to Allmeroth. She said the winter operations drill allows them to get familiar with their routes.

Still, routes will take longer to get plowed this year. Allmeroth said MODOT will maximize resources and will be very transparent with the public about what to expect with each storm.