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Omaha Public Works only has half its snowplow driver positions filled

Getting help from other departments
Posted at 11:01 AM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 12:32:28-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The City of Omaha Public Works Department’s Street Maintenance Division crew is heading into the winter months with only 50 snowplow drivers in the department — that’s half of the drivers the department can have on staff.

“When it comes to doing snow removal this winter, we are going to have to rely on other divisions to help us out," Omaha Street Maintenance Engineer William Ratekin said.

The city’s parks, traffic and sewer departments are lending a hand to try to keep up with the winter demand.

The driver shortage has been going on for months, and Ratekin already sees the impact it's having.

“It has made things a little difficult," Ratekin said. "It is taking us a little longer to get some tasks taken care of, primarily because we are short.”

Part of the issue is finding employees with a commercial driver's license (CDL). Getting a CDL requires four to five weeks of training.

“Generally when we hire someone, they don’t have a CDL license, so we have to go through that process," Ratekin said.

As worker shortages continue across the country, the department hopes to attract drivers through online postings and job fairs.

As for the coming winter, Ratekin says he believes the help from other departments will help them avoid too many issues.

“I understand the concern," Ratekin said. "We are going to do the best job we can do.”

You can apply for a driver position, at

At the state level, the Nebraska Department of Transportation said it is short by about 10 snowplow drivers. This represents about 7% of the department's workforce.

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