Join Hillsborough’s Public Works Team

Thursday, March 28, 2024
Public works employees
Public works employees clean out a catch basin that’s part of the stormwater drainage system on Cardinal Drive. Pictured are Equipment Operator 2 Daniel Hunt (from left), Crew Leader Jacob Goode, and Equipment Operator 1 Cameron Cunningham.

Hillsborough’s public works team is on a mission to clean out the stormwater catch basins around town and to hire another member for its division. 

On Tuesday, the team cleaned a curbside drainage system off South Churton Street using water pressure and a jet vacuum to remove debris.  

During storms, the basins capture sticks, soil and trash that wash down roadways and sidewalks with rain. The public works employees are working now to clean out the basins annually. Significant rain helps them see if the drainage systems are working properly.  

Public Works Crew Leader Jacob Goode enjoys the stormwater maintenance aspect of his job the most. 

“I like it because it makes you feel like you accomplished something,” Goode said. “It’s a problem at first, and then you see it rain and come together to work how it’s supposed to.” 

In addition to stormwater drainage maintenance, the Hillsborough Public Works Division is responsible for solid and yard waste collection, as well as routine and emergency maintenance for town streets, parks, trails and cemetery. The employees work to provide a safe and clean environment in town. 

“I like to say we do everything besides water and sewer,” Public Works Manager Dustin Hill said. “One day you may be out here doing stormwater maintenance; the next day you may be picking up trash.” 

The team is hiring for an entry-level equipment operator. The job uses light- to heavy-weight equipment to maintain and repair town grounds and streets and to provide solid waste collection services within the town. 

“We are looking for someone who is a team worker, dedicated and looking to stay here for a while,” Hill said. “We are a small group, so we have to work together well.” 

Being an equipment operator doesn’t mean operating large equipment only. An operator uses hand tools too – a little bit everything, Hill said. 

The equipment operator 1 position requires a high school diploma or GED certificate, six months of related experience, or any equivalent combination of training and experience and a Class B commercial driver’s license. The ideal candidate would have a Class A license as well. Anyone hired without a Class A would need to earn it within six months of hire. 

Training for the equipment operator role starts on a garbage truck to learn the town’s streets. After two to three weeks, the operator then trains with Goode, doing a few weeks of stormwater work, asphalt repairs, and park maintenance. After that, the new hire trains on the brush truck, collecting yard waste. Memorizing the routes is key, Goode noted. Finally, the new hire goes on a rotation with everybody on the team — spending a week or two with Goode and the crew and a week or two in the garbage truck. 

Having knowledge and experience with the crew’s work is helpful as a new hire but not necessary. Goode encourages applicants from various backgrounds. 

“We can hire somebody with no experience,” he said. “Sometimes it helps to be able to train them on the Hillsborough way to do it.” 

Job fairs 

The Town of Hillsborough is participating in the Local Government Career Expo from 1 to 4 p.m. June 8 at the N.C. State McKimmon Center. Visit

Central Carolina Women in Business also is offering a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 at the Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St. in Hillsborough. The job fair is open to women and men. Central Carolina Women in Business is a program of the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce.