Metro Detroit road commissions short on staff with winter approaching

Road agencies across Metro Detroit looking to hire now

With Michigan winter approaching, local road commissions that are facing staff shortages are looking to hire.
With Michigan winter approaching, local road commissions that are facing staff shortages are looking to hire.

With Michigan winter approaching, Metro Detroit road commissions that are facing staff shortages are looking to hire.

Across Metro Detroit, road commissions have been experiencing a shortage of staff and a lack of applications. The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC), for example, is currently down 20 workers.

“It certainly makes it harder to do all of the things that we need to do,” said RCOC senior communications manager Craig Bryson. “All of the routine road maintenance activities that you see our workers out there doing: pothole patching, in the winter snow plowing, traffic control -- the front line work that we need to get done.”

With a starting hourly wage of $18.53, and with a jump to $24 after six months, Bryson says he can’t understand why no one wants to work.

“It’s a nationwide problem; it’s a statewide problem,” Bryson said. “Road agencies all across Michigan are having the same problem.”

Check here: Road commission jobs available in Metro Detroit

Over in Wayne County, the situation is even worse: The Wayne County Roads division is reportedly looking for 119 workers.

Somehow, Macomb County’s road commission is fully staffed. The Michigan Department of Transportation, however, is also looking for workers.

Agencies are especially on the hunt for new workers now with the threat of wet winter weather not far on the horizon.

“That might be a problem, because we have so many trucks that have to get filled -- if we don’t have the people to do it, it’ll double up on a lot of the guys, who might get two runs, three runs, and that’s putting a lot of pressure on you,” said RCOC crew member Gerald Smith.

Fewer workers would mean fewer trucks on the road when wet weather, particularly snow storms, hits the region. That’s why Bryson says the group is doing a hiring push now, at the end of summer, to help prepare for what’s to come.

Officials say they aren’t just pushing for temporary workers to fill the gaps, however: Employees tend to stick around and turn this work into a career.

Watch the full report above.


Related: Macomb County middle school switches to virtual education due to staff shortage


More: Metro Detroit job listings


About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.