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BEND, OR -- It could be the negative side of Deschutes County’s record low unemployment – the Bend-La Pine School District is struggling to hire enough bus drivers. Transportation Director Denice Blake tells KBND News it’s been difficult to recruit qualified applicants. "The need for school bus drivers is nationwide. Anywhere I travel, we see signs up for school bus drivers; our trade journals are always commenting on recruiting, and hiring, etc."


She says many don’t realize how flexible the job is. Local recruitment efforts are targeted to stay-at-home parents and retirees. "We have the holidays off, we have two weeks at Christmas, and we have all summer. So, you can be retired, work part-time, get involved in the community, meet new people, be involved with children; and yet, you still have the time to go and relax and play." 


The district provides all necessary training. "We have a complete training team. We can take people that, if you have a drivers license, you have a good driving record, you can pass a criminal background and pre-employment drug/alcohol screening, we can train you from ground zero to having a complete commercial drivers license," says Blake. Pay starts at $11 an hour during training, then goes up to $13.50 for substitute drivers. Regular drivers are paid $16.07 to $23.33 per hour, plus benefits.  


Learn more about the open positions, HERE. Interested candidates can attend an open house at the "bus barn" at 501 SE Second Street in Bend, May 21. For details on the open house, call 541-355-5700.

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