- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Worker shortages in Maine have forced the state Department of Transportation to hire private contractors to plow roads.

The Portland Press Herald reports the state Department of Transportation has awarded a contract to the Ohio-based company First Vehicle Services. The contractors will work in southern Maine.

MDOT has struggled to keep highway workers in recent years. The department currently has 50 open positions.

Dale Doughty, MDOT’s Director of Maintenance and Operation, says some workers might be attracted to higher wages at private companies.

Maine State Employees Association interim Executive Director Ginette Rivard says a bill that would have raised the starting hourly wage of highway workers was recently voted down by the Legislative Council. Rivard says the raise could’ve helped with recruitment and retention.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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