Missouri Department of Transportation Commissioner Rudy Farber tells the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight that it appears they could have a new director hired by the target date in December.
“However I would say that in the event that we could not make this date we would be interested in getting the right person than in meeting the time schedule,” Farber said.
Farber says MODOT started the process by gathering input from stakeholders and putting together a profile of the education, experience and personal attributes that make the ideal candidate. They then hired the same recruitment company out of St. Louis that found former Director Pete Rahn last time around.
“The search firm reports to us that they have made over 600 job contacts, through various methods, in order to find candidates. They have used proactive recruiting methods to seek referrals of potential candidates including those that were not necessarily looking for a job,” Farber said.
The commission in charge of the search got 75 applications from that group of 600 contacts, which has been narrowed down to 10 candidates. They have already gone through one-on-one interviews. MODOT will conduct more interviews with these candidates soon.
“Interviews will be conducted in September and October. We’re pleased to have a diverse group of high-caliber candidates. We have candidates with extensive knowledge and experience in transportation either in the public or private sector, or in some cases both. We also have candidates from Missouri and from outside of the state,” Farber said.
A committee member asked if the recession has affected the candidate pool.
“I do not get the sense that the recession per se has been a major factor in their thinking because to my knowledge almost everyone that we’ve looked at already has a job,” Farber said.
Farber says the candidates are being kept confidential, because many of them are still working at their previous jobs. However, he says this is still an open process in one respect. If a very good candidate were to come forward, they may still be added in to the mix.
Kevin Keith has been serving as interim Director since April.