The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently kicked off its 2023-2024 workforce recruitment campaign with a billboard in Philadelphia off I-95 that reads: ‘Fixed this jawn. Join the team.’
[Above photo by PennDOT]
The billboard message is in reference to the agency’s ongoing effort to fully repair the I-95 highway bridge destroyed by a tanker truck fire earlier this year. (And for those unfamiliar with eastern Pennsylvania terminology, “jawn” means “a thing, place, person, or event that one need not or cannot give a specific name to.”)
In June, FHWA issued $3 million in emergency funds to PennDOT to support highway traffic “mitigation efforts” around that now-repaired bridge.
[Editor’s note: the time-lapse video below chronicles the six-day effort to install a temporary bridge structure to allow the vital I-95 highway to be fully reopened.]
That money helped defray the cost of demolition for the damaged structure, plus the emergency repairs necessary to restore the roadway’s ability to handle its traffic volumes of 160,000 vehicles per day.
To continue to “get stuff done,” PennDOT said it is recruiting for team members statewide to help with 40,000 state-maintained roadway miles and 25,400 state-maintained bridges.
As part of PennDOT’s statewide recruitment campaign the agency is seeking winter maintenance operators, diesel mechanics, automotive mechanics, transportation construction inspectors, and engineers as it demonstrates that there are multiple ways to grow a career at the agency. Team members will also collaborate with municipal and private-industry partners who help keep people moving and the economy thriving.
The recruitment campaign complements robust community outreach and hiring events. It will reach individuals via radio, digital streaming and search, and on social-media platforms, with job-posting access at www.employment.pa.gov/penndot.
“Across Pennsylvania, the team at PennDOT is hard at work fixing our roads, highways and bridges,” noted PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll in a statement.
“We have improved and repaired nearly 3,100 miles of state-owned roads and completed 161 bridge projects, supporting thousands of jobs across the Commonwealth,” he pointed out. “We look forward to adding more members to a team that is showing the nation what Pennsylvania is capable of.”
In addition to completing construction and maintenance activities, PennDOT deploys approximately 4,700 on-the-road workers and hires hundreds of temporary operators and additional support positions to keep roads as safe and passable as possible during the winter season.