BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Highways is continuing with recruitment events throughout the state in order to fill its 500 vacancies ahead of the Roads to Prosperity Highway Program that was passed in October.
DOH’s most recent hiring event was Thursday at their headquarters in Bridgeport, in which more than 100 individuals showed up to apply for the various openings in District 4.
“They wanted to do an informational kind of thing to reach out to people and tell them how to apply and things like that,” WVDOH Recruiter Leslie Adkins said. “We’re considered about the vacancies, so we amped it up a little bit and made it a full-blown hiring event like we do around the state. We thought it would be more beneficial to interview rather than just do informational.”
Adkins said the hiring events held throughout the state have been highly successful in getting new applicants for the hundreds of positions left to fill, and while the number does seem high, she says she’s optimistic the DOH will get all the employees they need.
“This hiring event isn’t just about the vacancies, it’s about the construction that’s coming down the road. This will take care of both,” she said. “We have vacancies around the state. It’s nothing new, but we take it serious and we’re taking care of it.”
As for what’s led to the high number of vacancies, Adkins said DOH suffers from the same job retention problems as most other industries in the state of West Virginia.
“People retire, people move on, move out of state,” she said. “It’s just like any other business, how they suffer vacancies and need to fill their positions as well. We’re just like any other business.”
With so many positions still left to fill, Thursday’s hiring event certainly won’t be the last.
“We are in the talking/planning stages of doing one in District 2, which their headquarters is in Huntington in Cabell County,” Adkins said. “We’re working out the bugs there and getting ready to try to do one there.”
For those planning to attend, Adkins said to block out one to two hours for the process.
“If they’ve already applied online, that will expedite the process greatly, or it will kind of hold things up if they have to complete an app, but I would probably say an hour or hour and a half,” she said.
The Division of Personnel — the main hiring function for DOH — is on hand at all of the hiring events.
“So we’ve got people here from there to determine whether they qualify for the position they have applied for and then they get interviewed,” Adkins said. “If they’ve applied for a transportation worker, we have an apprenticeship program from that, so we have our representative from that program to talk to people, and if they are going to operate equipment, we have drug testing that we’re doing as well, so it’s the whole kit and caboodle.”
For more information, call Adkins in the DOH Human Resources office at (304) 558-3111 or find an application at www.personnel.wv.gov