APOPKA, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) will hold a job fair here on Friday to recruit school bus driver candidates.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wekiva High School. Current OCPS school bus operators (as the district calls its drivers) will be on hand to answer questions about such topics as the district’s fleet, training, transporting students, field trips and work schedules.

A flyer for the job fair notes that CDL training is provided. Training pay is $9 per hour, and bus operator starting pay is $12 per hour, when benefited.

The flyer directs those interested to pre-apply online and to bring a copy of their resume to the job fair. At the event, OCPS staff will help with completing the online application and will conduct “on-the-spot” interviews.

Last school year, OCPS peaked at a 6.9% vacancy rate for school bus drivers. The transportation department teamed up with human resources and began hosting job fairs throughout Orange County.

The events have been effective: At the start of this school year, OCPS had no driver vacancies and a class of nearly two dozen being trained. Even after school started, the district continued holding job fairs. One in September brought in 58 applicants.

Jim Beekman, who helmed the OCPS transportation department until October, explained efforts that have contributed to the success of the job fairs in SBF’s recent article “20 Tips for Dealing with Driver Shortage”.

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