Cape Girardeau Public Works feeling effects of labor shortage

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Cape Girardeau Public Works is experiencing a significant staffing shortage.

More than 20 percent of the field level positions within the department are vacant.

Director Stan Polivick said getting the necessary jobs done has gotten much more difficult recently, especially in the solid waste division, which includes trash and recycling pickup.

“It’s starting to be crunch time for us on how we’re going to get the trucks manned and do all the routes every day the way we’re trying to do,” he said

With five, soon to be six, workers missing from what is normally a 17-person crew, it takes longer to complete those routes. That means longer shifts for the workers on those routes and delays in pickup. 

“For the most part now, the guys we have are working overtime to just put in the extra hours to get done what has to be done every day,” Polivick said. “We really appreciate them making that commitment to put in the extra time.” 

Polivick likened the Public Works department’s current situation to a football team not having enough players. 

“If you have a football team and you’re supposed to have 11 players on the field, and you only have seven, it’s hard to run the play,” he said. “We still have 100 percent of the work to get done. If I’ve only got 75 percent of the workforce I need to get that work done, they don’t reduce the workload by 25 percent.” 

Anyone interested in working for Public Works can check out the job listings at 

Polivick said the department can provide training.

“If someone’s interested, at least give it a look, call for an interview, and you may find out that there’s a job here that works really well for you, and we’ll be glad to have them come talk to us,” Polivick said. “If they’re willing to work, we can teach them to do what we need them to do.”

Interested parties can also fill out a paper application at City Hall. 

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