Bus companies across Wisconsin are actively recruiting new school bus drivers. Dousman Transport Company in Mukwonago has its bus routes staffed, but that could change at any minute.
"The last five, 10 years, it’s been a slow decline in applications. It depends on the area," said Allen Buchholz, the terminal manager.
Buchholz said the reason some companies are experiencing a shortage of drivers is due to a good economy and many people are looking for full-time work.
Buchholz said they had to rely on word of mouth and extra-pay incentives to attract new employees such as Mary Cooper. She takes her driver's test Thursday. Cooper said the reason she applied is because of the hours and drivers are allowed to take their small children with them on their routes.
"I think it's wonderful that the hours are flexible, but if you do have a smaller child, you can bring them to work with you," said Cooper.
Starting pay at Dousman Transport is $15 an hour and a $750 sign-on bonus for those who are hired and trained before Sept. 1.
Lamers Bus Lines is also actively seeking new drivers. Their starting pay is $19.10 an hour and a $200 monthly bonus for drivers who have perfect attendance and are accident-free.
"I think it's wonderful that the hours are flexible, but if you do have a smaller child, you can bring them to work with you." — new employee Mary Cooper
They need to fill 30 positions before the school year starts. If they don't, they will pull employees from their Motor Coach Bus operation. Everyone on staff is also a licensed driver and ready to fill in when needed.
You can test-drive a bus as long as you have a valid Wisconsin driver's license.
To find out more about Dousman Transport Company, click here.
To find out more about Lamers Bus Lines, click here.