UPDATED: Employee turnover presents challenges for transportation department

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(Updated to reflect that 54 engineers can either retire now or within three years not months)

The Kansas highway department is a training ground for heavy-equipment operators.

New employees get hired. They earn their commercial driver's license. Then they leave for more lucrative jobs.

"We have a tremendous challenge in recruiting and retaining those folks," interim Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz told lawmakers this week.

Overall, turnover for new operators is about 100 percent annually, officials said. Only about half of the 1,300 heavy-equipment operator positions statewide are filled at any given time.

Employees cycle through the . . .

SSJ

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