DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the seasons and weather continue to change, some people might be dreading the four letter “S” word. But NYS Department of Transportation of getting ahead.

“It’s October, you never know when that first snow is going to come.” said Susan Surdej, the Public Relations Information Officer at the department.

On Tuesday, the department held a press conference, asking for drivers to step up and apply.

“We need people and if there’s not enough people, we can’t keep the roads as clean as we’d like to or keep them ice free.” said Linda Wojciechowski, a Highway Maintenance Supervisor, “It’s very important that we get enough people in the winter time here because us cleaning the snow and the ice off of the roads, it keeps it safe for your family and your friends and even yourself to get to and from where you need to go.”

Wojciechowski has been with the D.O.T. for nine years, says though it may look intimidating to drive the plow trucks, not only is it fun — but the benefits pay off.

“Once you’re trained and you get out there and you get in the truck by yourself, and you get going, it just falls in place.” said Wojciechowski.

The jobs that the Department is looking for vary, from permeant to seasonal, and they are also looking for maintenance staff, including mechanics and technicians. They have 86 positions they are looking to fill.

“It’s probably a few more than the years past, you know everyone’s kind of in the same boat, where there are of workers, we are adequately staffed after the season but we always like to pad in the winter just to bring that relief and just raise our numbers for that long winter season in Western New York.” said Surdej, “If there’s a continuous snowstorm we work 24/7, we don’t take off for holidays, we don’t take off for weekends, so we need to make sure we have that added staff just to give us a buffer over the winter.”

To apply, you need to be at least 18 years old, and having a CDL license prior to applying is preferred, but not required. For more information on how to apply head to their website here.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.