WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Lots of students in New Hanover County start their day with a warm welcome from their bus driver.
“It’s good being positive when they come on the bus,” said Iris Reeves, a bus driver for New Hanover County Schools. “You say, ‘Good morning,’ and you form a very close tight relationship with them. You get to know them very well.”
The number of bus drivers for New Hanover County Schools isn’t where it needs to be, but it’s not just a county problem.
“There’s a nationwide shortage of bus drivers,” said Mark Clawson, the director of transportation for New Hanover County Schools. “We’ve got about 27 openings in this county. Last year we hired 13 new drivers and we’d like to top that this coming school year.”
New Hanover County Schools decided to host a bus driver recruitment fair. Candidates could apply and interview on the spot, receive free food and drinks, and talk with current drivers about their experiences.
Those who work for the county school system say it’s a job for a wide range of people.
“We are looking for recent retirees that aren’t quite ready to go into full time retirement,” said Clawson. “We are looking for young people that are looking for starting a career within the school system. It’s a good place to start.”
Not only do current bus drivers find joy in making a difference in children’s lives, but they also appreciate the schedule.
“You have flexibility,” said Reeves. “That’s what I enjoy about it. I have two elementary school kids and it’s good to be able to be flexible and on their schedule.”
The county school system noted they had more than 25 candidates at the event.
If you are interested in becoming a bus driver, visit the New Hanover County Schools website for more information.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.