It’s a job many may take for granted, but not Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen. He says he needs snow plow workers immediately.
"This is a problem that has gone on for the last few years and it's getting worse,” he said.
Cohen doesn’t want to wait for the first snowfall of the season to fill half a dozen plow driver jobs currently available, but those workers are harder to come by nowadays, so he’s sweetening the deal.
"We're even offering sign up bonuses,” he said.
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The demand is so high that one may notice signs along the roads or ads on social media for snow plow drivers.
"We can't find anybody; I can't find anybody,” said Chelmsford towing company owner Chris Ferrera.
Ferrera said he’s had to give raises to keep the workers he currently has.
“That's a problem because I can't respond to the needs of the town or the community that I work for, and so who is going to fill that void?” he asked.
New England Snow
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is offering $31.25 per hour using their plow trucks.
If using one’s own truck, however, cities such as Worcester and Lowell are offering up to $155 per hour; $125 in Sandwich; $110 in Chelmsford; and Watertown is offering hourly rates up to $200 provided drivers have their commercial driver’s license.
"Yeah! I might put up a plow right now!" said Seveth Chea.
"Considering that you have to bring your truck and have to stay up all night and have to be prepared, and the truck has to be running, I think it's pretty reasonable,” said resident Mike Ruby.
Cohen hopes the incentives will attract the right person to knock on his door. Without snow plow drivers, important services such as police, firefighters and ambulances will be affected, not to mention slower traffic and dangerous road conditions.
"It's just a need that has to be met because the weather is coming," Cohen said, "we know that's for sure!"