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U-E school district in desperate need of bus drivers

ENDICOTT (WBNG) – The Union-Endicott Central School District is looking to hire three new part-time bus drivers during the school year.

Lisa Bennett, the supervisor of transportation for the Union Endicott School District, says it is a very important occupation.

“If there weren’t school bus drivers, there would be a lot of kids that wouldn’t be in school…. the school bus driver makes the biggest impression on the kids and the parents,” said Bennett.

Bennett says in recent years, the need for bus drivers in Union-Endicott school has grown.

“I’ve had quite a few retirements and it’s kind of hard to replace them,” said Bennett.

Bennett added the need isn’t just in her district, but in many districts in the Southern Tier and across the country.

“It’s nationwide. CDL drivers in general there is a shortage,” said Bennett.

The district says there are several factors that play into the issue.

“One of the things that I think hamper us is that it is a part-time schedule. It’s part-time pay. It’s a split schedule morning and afternoon,” said Bennett.

The district says another reason for the shortage is the amount of time it takes to get the necessary qualifications to begin working.

“You have to get your permit. It’s like starting all over again back when you were 16 years old. You got to get a road test. We do offer free training,” said Bennett. “I’ve had people that have been trained within the month ready to take the test and I have had people that have taken two months.”

While drivers say the job isn’t always easy, they say the hard work is worth it.

“It may seem scary at first but once you do it, it’s a rewarding career,” said Bennett. “If you like to drive and you like kids, it’s a great job to have.”

If you are interested in applying for a bus driver position at Union-Endicott schools, call (607) 757-2125.

The Chenango VAlley Central School District is also searching for bus drivers. Anyone who is interested may call (607) 762-6850.

Tyler Brown

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