Newport News recruiting unlikely demographic for solid waste jobs

Female solid waste worker
Posted at 4:23 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 23:17:02-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The City of Newport News needs more workers in their solid waste division, and they're targeting an unlikely demographic to fill the positions - women.

In the city's solid waste division, of the 34 master equipment operators, seven are women. The city says they currently have several positions open and are open to anyone applying.

“Gender doesn’t matter here, that’s what it means. Can you drive a truck? Can you do a good job, and can you do it safely? That’s what we are looking for," said administrator Amy Davis. "We’re looking for somebody that can provide the service that our residents need and do it in a manner that we need it done.”

Sonja Clark has worked in solid waste for five years. She said she services 1,000 houses in a 10-hour shift and said her gender doesn't hold her back. Clark said if anything, it empowers her.

“People look at me the same as a guy; they don’t look at me like, 'Oh, you’re a woman; you can’t do this.' They look like, 'Hey, power up!'" Clark said. "I could be driving down the interstate, people will stop and wave like, 'You go girl! You’re doing that job.'”

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