First Student recruiting bus drivers ahead of new school year - KCTV5 News

First Student recruiting bus drivers ahead of new school year

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The company busses nearly 35,000 students every school year and is hosting a hiring fair Friday looking for drivers. (KCTV5) The company busses nearly 35,000 students every school year and is hosting a hiring fair Friday looking for drivers. (KCTV5)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

As much as children don’t want to think about it, school is only two months away.

And while students try to avoid thinking about it, school officials are working to address a problem sweeping the nation.

The United States is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers and from coast to coast, schools are in desperate need.

First Student in Olathe, KS, is hoping to combat the shortage by launching their fall recruitment.

The company busses nearly 35,000 students every school year and is hosting a hiring fair Friday looking for drivers.

Schools like the Raytown School District say they are consistently seeking new ways to address the issue. They recently raised pay to more than $16 per hour and offer attendance bonuses and benefits.

Officials at First Student say many people are intimidated by the size of the bus. To combat these fears, those who attend the hiring events are given the opportunity to drive the bus on a practice course, meant to build confidence and put people at ease.

Training center manager Darlene Davis says the training is hands-on and that the company makes sure they are recruiting ahead of schedule to ensure they have enough drivers come the fall.

“We don’t take this lightly,” Davis said. “We know that there is a drivers shortage and if we’re not doing everything that we can do ahead of time, then we will fall right into that category.”

Those interested in being a school bus driver can come to hiring events located at 18950 W 157th Terrace on Fridays anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Three weeks of training and a background check are required before a driver begin their routes.

“It works for us and we retain a lot of our drivers because we have a good relationship with them and we do events just for our drivers,” Davis said.

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