The Cleveland City School District is recruiting school bus drivers.
School districts across the country need more school bus drivers and are scrambling to attract new people to the workforce. The Cleveland City School District is no different.
From now until the beginning of the school year, the district is offering a training class to teach people how to drive a school bus. The district is also paying the training costs for them to get a commercial driver’s license.
The district advertised the training class a couple of weeks ago and had a big response.
“We feel like it's been successful so far that we were able to pull in some people and get good applicants,” said Hal Taylor, Director of Operations for Cleveland City Schools.
Wednesday, Channel 3 went inside the classroom to see who is taking part in the training and why they want to drive children to and from school each day.
The applicants include people like Reta Vick who has worked as a bus monitor in the district for the past year and now wants to become a bus driver. She says the class has been helpful.
“It’s been really good to have a group of people to study with. I think training maybe on your own would be difficult, not that it can’t be done, but having people to train with has made it more interesting and it’s been easier to train that way,” Vick told Channel 3.
People in the class want to learn to drive a school bus for many different reasons.
For Daphne Owens, it’s personal.
“I had someone that was close to me and my family that was lost during that bus crash that happened in Chattanooga,” Owens told Channel 3.
She says the Woodmore bus crash that killed six young children last year is the reason she’s here.
“I felt that the kids needed, deserved, a bus driver such as myself. Someone who is responsible, someone who is caring, someone who cares about the kids and what's going on,” said Owens.
The training will last until school starts.
People in the class are paid $10 an hour for the training and once they get their license they’ll get full driver pay which is $16.82 an hour.
The district is still looking to hire five more drivers.