Ryan Coleman was a coal miner for 12 years with a small, family-owned blasting company. It was through coal mining that he learned how to drive a triaxle to get his class B CDL. He loaded and transported materials to job sites, helped with the labor of mining and took his PA Blasters exam given by DEP. Even with all the cross training, coal mining still wasn't a stable job.
"I wanted to work at PennDOT ever since I learned how to drive a truck," Coleman said.
Coleman was hired as a seasonal employee in October 2016 and for six months, he worked daily with veteran operators. He learned various tasks – anything from mixing materials for winter maintenance, to plowing snow, or patching potholes. He knew it was seasonal work but felt when the call would come to join full time, he would be ready. Luckily, he only had to wait a couple of months.
"Being a full-time employee at PennDOT is very exciting for me. Every day I learn different jobs with different scenarios and get to work with many different people. With all the people I am surrounded by, there is no end in the amount of knowledge I am able to gain. Learning from people with 30 years at PennDOT, to the people with 5 or 6 years. Every day is a learning experience," said Coleman.
Coleman recalls the first time he plowed snow on Route 219. He was nervous, but a seasoned veteran told him to take his time and not rush. "It opened my eyes to what the guys plowing snow had to deal with!" he said.
Even as a seasonal employee, Coleman claims that applying to work at PennDOT was the best decision he has ever made for his family and for himself. He would not hesitate to tell others that, too, "…[PennDOT] is a career with so many opportunities to choose from!"
Ready to start your career with PennDOT? We're currently hiring seasonal employees for our Winter Maintenance Program. See the job posting on the commonwealth's employment site to learn more and apply!