“Help Wanted!” The School District of Palm Beach County has a massive bus driver shortage and it’s not just a local problem.
There is a nationwide bus driver shortage.
“If the bus is crowded, what happens is the driver has to turn back and make two trips and go back and double back to pick up additional kids,” said Superintendent Michael Burke.
Burke knows it’s a problem and said the School District of Palm Beach County started the 2021/22 academic year on Aug. 10 already about 100 drivers short.
“Like many industries across the country, it’s hard to fill those jobs,” Burke said. “Then when we started school with the delta variant, we’ve had to send drivers home. So I’m not surprised to hear of some crowding.”
The school district needs at least 150 bus drivers to meet the schedule needs of 650 drivers.
Palm Beach County says 50,000 students are registered to ride on school buses. Currently, the school district is relying on any employees that have commercial driver’s licenses to fill in and get kids to and from school.
“Lack of buses, drivers showing up late, buses are overloaded,” Forest Hill Community High School senior Damien Allen told our news partner, WPTV.
The School District of Palm Beach County is hosting a weekly transportation job fair every Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the district’s Central Transportation Center, located at 3376 Summit Boulevard in West Palm Beach.
On Sept. 2, there will also be a job fair in Belle Glade.
A spokesperson said the school district will pay to train bus drivers and will also offer them full benefits and a retirement program.
For more information about the qualifications and to apply, click here.