OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – With a need to fill dozens of bus driver positions for the upcoming school year, the Osceola school district held a job fair at its transportation department early Tuesday.
According to district leaders, 35 additional bus drivers are needed to fulfill routes for the 2021-22 school year, which begins on Thursday.
Adriana Fracasso is the supervisor of operations and said the driver shortage isn’t unique to Osceola County.
“It’s a national problem and we have to tackle every angle at this point,” she said. “It’s very difficult to fill those positions because of requirements, a commercial driver’s license is one of them.”
While the district is facing competition from the private sector for applicants, Fracasso said there are several benefits, which include the Florida Retirement Plan, medical insurance and paid training toward a CDL license.
“If you don’t have a CDL, no problem, she said. “Just come over. We’ll train you and you will be the best and the safest bus driver in town.”
Angel Torres was one of several applicants and said he hoped to earn extra money this fall.
“I’ve seen that they need a lot of bus drivers here in Osceola County,” Torres said. “You never know. Maybe you like it. If you’re good with kids, it’s a good fit for you.”
Even with Tuesday’s job fair, the driver shortage is expected to continue into the school year, but district leaders said plans are in place to make sure every bus stop is covered.
“We have to analyze the numbers inside of some units and ask other units to help us,” Fracasso said. “We are going to do whatever it takes to take every student to school and back home safely.”
Anyone interested in becoming a bus driver in Osceola County is encouraged to call 407-518-4540 or apply online here.