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Those hired will work in DPW while earning CDL
By the Niagara County Public Information Office
Niagara County Public Works Commissioner Garret Meal today announced the Legislature has approved the creation of a truck driver/CDL trainer and four new truck driver trainee positions in an effort to address the shortage of workers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) across the county. A CDL is required to drive snowplows and heavy highway equipment used for roadwork and maintenance.
“We see no signs that the lack of CDL workers in Niagara County is going to subside any time soon, as we are competing with bus companies, private contractors and others for a very limited pool of applicants,” Meal said. “So, we are going to try a new program that will have the county hire DPW workers and, as part of their work duties, they will train for their CDL.”
Trainees will perform a variety of needed tasks in DPW, including manual labor work and flagging and/or traffic control. They will also work under the supervision of a qualified field trainer to operate trucks in the hauling of construction materials and snow removal; operate snowplows and spread salt; operate roadside mowing machines; and other related activities.
“The plan is to integrate the CDL training within their normal DPW duties on a schedule that will take approximately six to nine months to complete and, then once the CDL is earned, immediately promote the worker to truck driver,” Meal said. “This is what we call an ‘earn while you learn’ type of program, and the county will cover the cost of the CDL training. Upon completion, the new drivers will be required to stay with the department for a minimum of three years, but we certainly hope they choose to make a career here at the Niagara County Highway Department.”
Meal also said that, while this will be the first group to complete the new program, the county hopes to offer the program annually in the future. Information on the truck driver trainee positions and instructions on how to apply can be found at https://niagara-portal.mycivilservice.com/, under job postings.