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WVDOT hiring still lags for state highway construction projects

By TAYLOR STUCK The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — While measures taken by the Legislature in 2017 did help reduce the amount of time it takes the West Virginia Department of Transportation to hire new workers, it still takes about six weeks for the department to fill positions.

Following the passage of the Roads to Prosperity bonds in 2017, the Legislature approved during a special session a bill meant to streamline the DOT hiring process. The goal was to more quickly fill the 500-some positions that were open as the department faced historic funding levels for major roads projects.

“It took a six-month process down to a six- to 12-week process,” said Jimmy Wriston, deputy secretary of DOT. “So yes, we made some headway there and we’ve been able to hire several people, but it’s a very tough thing. You’ve got a lot of rules that don’t really apply to your situation, and every time you have to cross an agency line, you are going to lose efficiency.”

The department has more than 300 positions open throughout the 10 districts and about 40 positions in headquarters, DOT human resources director H.J. Woods told the Joint Committee of Department of Transportation Accountability on Tuesday. Depending on the position and its location, it takes about six weeks, on average, to fill a position once it’s posted. …

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