For the past four years, Dan Shiffka has coordinated PennDOT's seasonal programs. During the winter months, upwards of 900 temporary employees are hired. In the summer program, between student and adult positions, up to 1,700 hires are conducted, all of which are routed to Dan for approval.
Dan joined the Commonwealth in the summer of 2015, being hired as an Administration and Management Trainee to oversee the seasonal programs. Since that time, he has progressed to a Human Resource Analyst 2. His duties include coordinating the majority of criminal background checks and reviews for seasonal hires each year, supplementary recruiting duties for the programs and heading the Department's participation in PHEAA's State Work-Study Program. He also manages the summer internship program, which while a part of the larger summer program, has increasingly become its own entity since being integrated into the NEOGOV system a few years ago.
Due to the frenetic pace that both programs inevitably reach each year owing to their volume of hiring activity, Dan jokingly considers it an achievement each time one program wraps up and the next one commences. However, in all seriousness, he stresses that credit for the continued success of the programs rightfully belongs in equal measures to all PennDOT employees who work with the programs, as counties and districts wade through hundreds of applications each year, conduct interviews and take all the steps necessary to reach a hiring decision, which is then submitted to Dan for his final approval.
Dan lives right across the river from Harrisburg (in what should be a 10-minute commute) with his wife and two young boys. His dog is practically a third child with his obstinate need for frequent fresh air throughout each night, contributing more to Dan's fitful sleep than even his kids do! How does Dan recover from this chronic sleep debt? By taking each opportunity to stay up too late after the rest of the house has tucked in and either sticking his face in a book or pointing it at a TV screen. When his sons are awake, Dan will tip-toe down the hall to pick up a guitar before being discovered a minute later and having his practice session terminated when one of his children either squeezes the guitar neck as Dan plays it or takes it from him altogether. He also cherishes family outings and watching sports and engaging in them with the boys, particularly the 6-year old, as he is at that age! A native of the Wilkes-Barre-adjacent town of Nanticoke, he's not quite awed by the city of Harrisburg, but he's grateful for the convenience of having a theatre downtown in the Whitaker Center where he can either take the kids to a show or sneak out by himself for a few hours to see a top-tier comedian or two perform.
Recently, while doing some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve, he ran into such a comic at the Capital City Mall, himself a native to the area visiting home for the holidays. While not prone to fanboying, Dan indulged in this for just a minute before heading into FYE for some whacky gummy candies to drop in his sons' stockings. Never considering himself sentimental or prone to being star-struck, this was nonetheless some seasonal magic.