All this month, Bend-La Pine Schools are hiring new bus drivers by putting people in the drivers’ seat.
“I believe we’re the highest paid school bus driver wage in the state if not the nation right now,” said Kim Crabtree, the Director of Transportation for Bend-La Pine Schools.
Every Thursday this month, you can Drive and Apply.
The pay is $25 an hour; up from a rate of $22.
The district hoping it helps them compete in a tight hiring market.
“So applicants in August are not ready for school start up so we would like to hire now,” Crabtree said “We’ve got summer school going. There’s lots of opportunities to use our drivers and it takes about 8 weeks to train a driver.”
All you have to do is show up, fill out an application, and drive the bus for an interview for one of the 25 available jobs.
So, with the opportunity in front of me, I grabbed the wheel.
Lot’s of questionable bus-driving and jokes ensued.
Overall, driving a 40 foot long bus was easier than I thought.
Lots of people my age are thinking the same thing.
“We’re finding a lot of applicants are in a younger range and aren’t retired anymore that are looking for a change and wanting to get back to the community and do something different,” Crabtree said.
Even the Superintendent joined in on the drives.
“There are so many decisions for the fall semester that are predicated on getting additional bus drivers and it impacts school starting times, it impacts field trips and opportunities for students to go out and have other experiences,” said Steve Cook, the Superintendent for Bend-La Pine Schools.
It’s not just part time; Some school bus drivers can work up to 9 hours a day if needed.
“We really just want someone who enjoys kids,” Crabtree said “We can teach you, as you know, to drive the bus. It’s not that hard.”
If you want to take a shot at driving one of these buses, the Drive and Apply event will happen every Thursday this May from 11A.M. to 1P.M. at Second Street in Bend, and First Street in La Pine.