KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The first day of school in Osceola County is two weeks away and the district is still in need of bus drivers.
Osceola County Schools Transportation Services hosted a job fair Tuesday in an effort to hire more school bus drivers.
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Danielle Eglilis took advantage of the bus driver job event on Tuesday. She’s hoping to land on the front seat of a yellow school bus for the new school year.
“Mainly, I want to be able get the kids to and from school safely, and of course, I’ve been trying to apply at many different positions and unfortunately, it’s been difficult for me to get a job, get in the door. So this job fair is allowing me to get in the door,” Engilis said.
Adriana Fracasso, coordinator of external affairs for transportation services, said they have been preparing bus routes all summer and estimate over 27,000 Osceola County students will be riding buses.
“We ended the school year... 40 drivers short, yet we were able to split routes, to double run, and make sure that the kids were being picked up from schools or their homes. Yes, granted the buses were running late, but we never left kids behind,” Fracasso said.
The school district has hosted multiple job fairs in a search for bus drivers throughout the year, hoping to hire at least 35 to 40 drivers. According to spokesperson Zach Downes, 11 people are currently taking a CDL training course. If they pass the course, they will be able to drive by August 10, the first day of school.
“Our goal is to hopefully bring in about 40 additional school bus drivers leading up to the school year,” said Randy Wheeler, of Osceola County Schools Transportation Services.
This year, the district approved a boost in pay for bus drivers to $16.50 an hour once they become fully qualified.
Tuesday’s job fair took place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the bus compound at 401 Simpson Road in Osceola County.
News 6 reached out to other school districts on Tuesday about bus driver shortages.
According to Orange County Public Schools, the district is processing potential candidates, but the goal is to hire 100 bus drivers and 20 mechanics.
Seminole County Public Schools said it needs 40 to 50 bus drivers.
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