Staff shortage could force some City of Winston-Salem employees to help with snow, ice removal

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- One Piedmont Triad city is short-staffed ahead of the potential snow and sleet.

Winston-Salem’s Traffic Field Operations Division is in charge of clearing snow and ice off roads.

Right now, their team is dealing with a shortage of equipment operators. They have about 30 vacant positions.

“Maintenance workers, light equipment operators and medium equipment operators is the major vacancies,” said Keith Huff, the traffic field operations director.

If winter weather comes our way, his team will need to reach out to other staff in the city and ask for help.

“We’re going to get the drivers out there,” Huff said.

Drivers with commercial drivers licenses from other departments, like utilities and sanitation, have been called in to assist before.

“Those departments are pulling together with us,” Huff said. “A city is one team.”

Antonio Bonilla, who works with sanitation, told us he’d be more than willing to help out again.

“You know, the extra work I could use it and it's helpful for the city also,” Bonilla said. “From my job to doing the snow detail, it's not a whole lot of difference."

Huff believes the shortage of equipment operators is happening because of high demand for that type of work in our area. There are other jobs, like on Business 40, that pay more.

“We like to offer our benefits and stuff like that as other compensations as well,” Huff said.

The city is hosting a hands-on job fair to fill the positions on Friday, Jan. 25, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Home and Garden Building.

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