By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Transportation is hoping to fill around 200 vacant jobs before the snow flies and is hosting career fairs across the state. While attendance has been lower than the agency had hoped, for those who attend, getting a job offer on the spot is a real possibility.

“Statewide, we’re looking to fill 150 positions and in Northwest Colorado, we’re looking to fill 50 full-time permanent positions,” said Elise Thatcher, Region 3 Communications Manager for CDOT.

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The biggest demand is for maintenance workers, especially along the heavily traveled I-70 corridor.

“You get to be in some of the most beautiful places in the country and you also get to do really unique things, like plowing the middle of a snowstorm, being out on the road when there’s nobody out there and knowing that your big reason why the road is going to be safe again for other to be able to travel on,” said Thatcher. “In the summer, duties range from painting or striping, as well as making sure that areas are paved properly and are smooth for people to drive on. We do a lot of maintenance on our equipment as well in the summer because it’s got to be ready to rock and roll during the winter and keep the roads clear.”

Chuck Decker has been with CDOT for nearly 30 years and says he loves the action. While the Glenwood Canyon mudslides will likely be the most memorable event in his career, there are many that come close.

“Fires and floods and big snowstorms- the avalanche event in 2019 that’s probably pretty memorable,” he said.

(credit: CDOT)

He hopes to share his passion for the job with other people. Even if it’s just one person to show up at the career fair, he’ll take the opportunity.

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“I actually really enjoy it at CDOT; the people the action, being a public servant… it’s been a great career for me,” he said.

At a career fair in Silverthorne on Tuesday, only two people showed up, but Decker said both were hired. On Thursday in Gypsum, just one person came within the first hour. Decker was still enthused.

“We have a lot of opportunities to advance, we have a lot of good benefits to offer,” he said.

Permanent positions include full benefits (worth an average of $16,669 per year) and promotional opportunities. CDOT also allows the heavy equipment required to be gained by driving a forklift or bus. In addition, certain positions and locations offer a housing stipend.

A CDOT snow plow makes its way towards Monarch Pass on Jan. 10, 2017.

A CDOT snow plow makes its way towards Monarch Pass. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Temporary seasonal positions generally last up to nine months but CDOT says seasonal workers can apply for full-time maintenance positions based on experience gained while in the temporary position.

All positions include paid sick leave.

“Just come talk to us, come to the office and just talk. You don’t even have to apply or anything, just see if it’s something you’d be interested in,” said Decker.

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LINK: CDOT Career Fairs

Jamie Leary