Petersburg schools holding job fair to alleviate bus driver shortage

Peterburg schools say its bus driver shortage is putting a strain on drivers, which is why the school division is pushing to fill at least eight vacancies at it
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 5:44 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - After two months since the school year began, Petersburg Public School is responding to its bus driver shortage by holding a bus driver job fair at the Petersburg Public Library.

The Job fair comes as the school division’s supervisor of transportation Gerald Robertson says drivers have had t take on additional bus routes to ensure that kids make it to school on time.

“We had a few drivers retire and just decide to move on during the summer, and this kind of depleted the number of staff that we were preparing for the upcoming school year,” Robertson said.

The supervisor doesn’t usually drive buses, but he says in recent weeks, he and other staff members have had to adjust to keep buses and schedules running smoothly.

“Sometimes office staff has to go out and drive,” Robertson said. People in the community have seen me drive the school buses as well. We’re down about 7 to 8 drivers.”

Currently, the division has around 30 bus drivers, and it needs approximately 37 to be fully staffed. Currently, the division doesn’t have enough drivers to take full advantage of its 40 -pus fleet size. He says Tuesday’s job fair should help alleviate that.

“You have to pass a background check. That’s required because you’re working with kids and if you have a CDL permit only in the future, we’re looking at doing some training here to get you CDL-qualified,” Robertson said.

He says there are also incentives for candidates to sign up as soon as possible.

“Our current pay is probably higher than some of the other areas, and we have a signup bonus of about $2,500 for new hires,” Robertson said

Applicants with all their certifications may not have to wait long to begin bussing students.

“We could almost make that happen in a regular week or one week,” he said.

The job fair is Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Petersburg Public Library at 201 W Washington St from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The city also encourages qualified applicants to fill out the bus driver application form. That form can be found HERE.