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Worcester offers sign-on bonus in struggle to hire snow plow drivers

Mass. communities scramble to find snowplow drivers
Mass. communities scramble to find snowplow drivers 01:48

WORCESTER - As the end of the month approaches, cities and towns in our area report a struggle to hire snow plow drivers.

Attleboro, Hingham, and Worcester are just some that tell WBZ-TV they are still working to fill their ranks in an effort to gear up before the first winter storm. 

"It is just a different ballgame," said Worcester's Public Works and Parks director Jay Fink. "It's really a reflection of the available drivers and equipment and even the availability for parts to fix that equipment when it goes down." 

Last year, Worcester raised its snow plow wages by up to 30% in an effort to gain a competitive edge. You can now make up to $200 an hour plowing snow in Worcester depending on the type of equipment you use. This year, Worcester is offering sign-on bonuses between $1,000-$2,000 if you apply by Friday, December 1. 

Fink said cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth have to compete with MassDOT for resources. The state often pays more and has more access to advertising. Take the signs over the highways, for instance. 

As of Tuesday, Fink had 183 of 350 snow plow positions filled. He said he expects that number to go up by the end of the week and to spike when the first major storm is forecasted. If it doesn't, Fink is confident the city will be able to do the job. It just might take them a little longer. 

"Practice your patience," said Fink. "The job will get done but it's not like the good old days when we had a lot of equipment out there. We are limited in the number of resources we have to fight any given snowstorm. We (municipalities) are all in about the same boat. We are down numbers, but all share some level of confidence that no matter what comes we are all going to get through it."  

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