September 21, 2022

DPW turns to new incentive program in hopes of hiring drivers

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works says it needs drivers. - Jill Sheridan/WFYI

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works says it needs drivers.

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works is struggling to hire more people. A new program could help DPW fill 100 union worker positions.

The program to actively recruit, retain and invest in employees offers $2,000 to newly hired union employees and a referral bonus for current employees.

DPW Deputy Director Abbey Brands said it is particularly hard to find drivers who have to have a commercial drivers license.

“We have laborers who are currently in our union positions who are interested in gaining a CDL. We’d much rather invest in those individuals and keep them part of the team,” Brand said.

DPW is dealing with staff shortages in solid waste, fleet and operations drivers. 

The department would like to start an internal CDL training program to train employees. 

Brand said the incentives are an effort to be competitive in a difficult labor market.

“We have to be able to compete with the private market as best we can. So this referral bonus, this sign-on bonus, they are just tools in our tool kit to try and get people in the door,” Brand said.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME, union employees are eligible for the programs.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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