From Alexis Rogers with our content partner, KATV Ch. 7 News:
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department hopes to hire 200 full time workers by the end of the week.
“We are known for being able to do more with less. However in certain circumstances like this past winter weather a lot of those efficiencies that we became over time really became our deficiencies,” said AHTD spokesman Danny Straessle.
Now the highway department is hiring to handle situations like it. According to Straessle, it is going to cost an additional $18 million to hire 200 full-time employees.
“Here in central Arkansas we are looking to fill at least 40 to 50 positions pretty quickly. Now these are general labor positions, they hire in at about $21,000 which is a really good salary to start out with,” Staessle said. “This is rather unprecedented because hiring 200 people at once, like I said it took us about 20 years to lower the population about 400 so we increased our budget this past year so we could hire those people.”
Straessle said the answer is not building more highways.
“Taking care of what we have requires more people and so we are getting new trucks and we’re hopefully getting new people and so we are hoping to increase our new efficiencies,” Straessle said.
New employees will get Commercial Driver’s License training if they do not already have it. According to Straessle, if employees receive the CDL training they can get a $2,000 raise within a month’s time.
The Highway Department’s job fair is on Friday, Nov 14 at AHTD. Potential employees will know if they received the job by the end of the day on Friday.
Access the full KATV story here, which includes a link to the AHTD jobs site.