Clayton County road crew at career day

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The Clayton County Secondary Roads Department participated in the Clayton Ridge High School Career Day on March 15. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Have you ever considered a career with the Clayton County Secondary Roads Department?

County Engineer Casey Stickfort is proactively encouraging Clayton Ridge High School students to contemplate a career with the Secondary Roads Department. The Secondary Roads Department and other local employers participated in a career day held at Clayton Ridge on March 15.  

"Our presence at career day is to share what we do," Stickfort told The Press. 

The Board of Supervisors appoints the County Engineer and his duties include: 

• Design and submit all plans to the Iowa Department of Transportation and County Auditor

• Direct and supervise all construction and maintenance work

• File an annual report to the Iowa Department of Transportation, accounting for all monies spent on all roads and bridges in the county secondary road system

• Inspect contract road, bridge and culvert projects

• Plan all road, bridge and culvert projects on secondary road systems

• Responsible for the efficient, economical and good faith performance of all projects in the county's secondary road system

Stickfort's own journey to the roads department was an opportunity to reciprocate his appreciation for the excellent job the roads crew did to ensure his mother's safety on her daily commute on secondary roads. "My family depended on our mother's income. I remember being grateful the roads she traveled on, particularly Sny Magill, were well-maintained. I always thanked the road crew for doing their job," he shared. 

Northeast Iowa is known for its picturesque bluffs, scenic overlooks, small waterways and the Mississippi River, but during the winter months the roads that weave their way across Clayton County can become quite treacherous. "During inclement weather the road crews are on the job sacrificing their own safety for the survival of others. That is how important we are," he noted. "If the milk truck is unable to make it to the dairy farm – the farmer doesn't get paid. The arrival of Amazon and online packages you ordered depend on roads that are safe to travel on." 

The Clayton County Secondary Road crew maintains 230 bridges, 1100 miles of roadway, and 9000 traffic signs year-round. Snow removal is top priority during the winter, while repairing shoulders and potholes, resurfacing roads, painting pavement markings, and maintaining traffic signs takes precedence during the warm weather months. "It's quite an infrastructure," Stickfort pointed out.  

The young engineer described an attractive work environment with competitive pay and benefits. "We work from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., leaving plenty of time for after work activities," he commented. "I have a couple of employees that are – what I call – 'rural hobby farmers.' They are able to work full-time for the County and be home in plenty of time to till their family ground, take care of their livestock, or attend their children's activities."

Career opportunities include roadway design, construction inspection, bridge design, bridge inspection, and equipment operator. Pieces of equipment include snow plows, excavators, motor graders, and tractor trailers. 

For additional information call 563-245-1782, or e-mail

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