Warren County Road Department in need of workers

Published 10:03 am Friday, September 8, 2023

It’s a thankless job that takes place in rain or shine — but with only a four-day workweek — and more workers are needed.

The Warren County Road Department has openings for laborers in a variety of disciplines, from tire technicians to equipment operators. Road Department Manager Jamie Cain said there are currently 10 job openings: eight laborers, one truck driver and one tire and sign technician.

While the road department often involves hard work in all types of weather, Cain said the benefits of working for Warren County are a big part of employee retention.

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“The benefits are great and that’s what we try to explain to people, especially new hires coming in,” Cain said. “You’ve got insurance, great retirement, a four-day workweek. That helps a lot, and that’s what keeps most of (the Road Department) employees here.”

Another thing that will help with employee retention, he said, is the Warren County Board of Supervisors’ decision to increase minimum hourly pay to $13 from $11, beginning Oct. 1.

Board President Kelle Barfield said Wednesday that she hopes the increase in pay will attract more laborers to the road department.

“The laborers are a category that is particularly hard to fill, but the county increasing its minimum wage will certainly help,” Barfield said. “The negative perception is it’s hot in Mississippi in the summer, but it’s reliable work.”

The positions are hourly and the department operates on a daily schedule for its four crews. Between the asphalt crew, two construction crews and timber and brush crews, the county’s road needs are met.

Cain also highlighted the quality of equipment operators get to use, with more new equipment included in the upcoming budget year.

“A lot of people look at what they’re making an hour and they don’t see the benefits, but once you get to a certain age, those benefits become very important. It’s long-term thinking,” Cain said. “We’re hoping to get to a point where we have to hire fewer projects out and can do more in-house. That will save the county money, too.”

People who are interested in applying to work for the Warren County Road Department can do so by contacting Staffing Solutions at 601-630-9966. New hires undergo a 90-day probation period before being referred to Cain.