The new executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) says hiring and retaining engineers is one of MDOT's biggest challenges.
Speaking in downtown Jackson at the Stennis Press Forum, Brad White, seven months on the job, says taxpayers pay triple the cost when MDOT has to hire outside consultants for a project. Even so, engineer shortages are forcing MDOT to farm out more and more engineering work. White said the private sector is outbidding the state for engineers. He noted that state retirement used to be a big draw for MDOT engineers, but now even that's not enough to compete with higher compensation from private engineering firms.
White said MDOT is getting more money from the new federal infrastructure bill but not nearly as much as the public things and much of the money has tight federal restrictions. Attached is a video of his talk.
Appointed unanimously by the three members of the Mississippi Transportation Commission. Prior to joining MDOT, White was chief of staff for Governor Tate Reeves (R). He also previously served as chief of staff for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss. and former Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.