MILWAUKEE -- Across the country, there’s a school bus driver shortage. In fact, right here in Milwaukee, Lamers Bus Lines is looking to fill more than fifty jobs for the upcoming school year.
“When school ended people went other places or they quit, or they got fired you know, stuff happens,” said Amy Wilson, a road supervisor at Lamers Bus Lines.
Thursday, the transportation company hosted a job fair at its Boden Court location in Milwaukee, hoping to find potential employees to fill the openings.
A 2016 study conducted by the National Association for Pupil Transportation, shows
more than half of school transportation staff (52%) surveyed across the country said dealing with a shortage of bus drivers is their number one problem.
So why is there a shortage? Lamers Bus Lines believes people are intimidated to drive a school bus.
“I think there’s just a huge fear about driving a big or a small bus,” said Wilson. “Just a fear of it, not knowing if they can pass the test, or how they would handle a school bus. Everyone has their different reasons, but it’s not that hard."
To address that fear, applicants can hop on a bus and drive around the parking lot during Thursday’s job fair.
“We’re going to have a little bit of a course if people want to have that experience on getting into a bus, the feel for a bus, and what it’s like to drive a bus,” Wilson continued.
Starting pay for these part-time school bus driver positions is $17.25 an hour and Lamers is also offering a $2,000 sign up bonus to attract applicants.
To apply, you don’t have to have experience driving a school bus. You need to be at least 21 years old and have a good driving record and at least four years of experience driving any vehicle. You also have to pass a background check and drug screen.
Lamers Bus Lines said even though it’s part time work, school bus drivers can easily put in seven hours a day or more by adding to their route.
Also, for those parents interested in applying, Lamers told TODAY’S TMJ4 they can bring their children along with them during their bus route.
Thursday’s job fair is from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 1122 W. Boden Court in Milwaukee.