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Schools desperate for bus drivers; Duval needs at least 50

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News4Jax
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The first day of school for Duval County students is less than two weeks away on Aug. 15, but the district is already dealing with a challenge — not having enough bus drivers.

Like many industries, bus drivers are in short supply in Duval County and elsewhere. Student Transportation of America, one of the district's contractors, is looking to hire 50 to 60 drivers.

“A shortage has been ongoing for transportation providers even before the pandemic," said Pete Conway, area manager for the company. "But it was just exacerbated the last couple of years, specifically, by the pandemic. We've had some success adding to our team. But we continue to recruit and look for the right candidates to fill the slots for the 2022 to 2023 school year,” .

Another contractor, Durham School Services, is in the same boat, and the bus companies are offering incentives to attract drivers.

“We do have our own in-house training program in which we're able to bring folks that have no experience and bring them in and give them adequate training and turn them into professional school bus drivers in approximately eight to 10 weeks,” Conway said.

The job brings several benefits, he said, including part-time work, a sign-on bonus of $3,000 for new drivers and the ability for parents to bring their own children along for the ride as they work.

But the biggest benefit, according to him, is serving the community.

To apply, go to: https://stacareers.com/jacksonville/

Jamie is an award-winning, Emmy nominated broadcast journalist who serves as a host and reporter for WJCT Public Media.