As the school bus industry continues to face an exacerbated driver shortage, the Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) has launched a new campaign to raise public awareness about the shortage and recruit new drivers.
At the heart of the statewide campaign, called "You Behind the Wheel," is a website that features a job portal designed to connect interested individuals with open school bus driver positions in their neighborhood, according to a news release from the PSBA. In addition to raising public awareness of the driver shortage, the campaign provides a number of resources that can be used to recruit new drivers.
“Our school bus drivers are trained professionals who love what they do and provide an essential service to our communities,” said Denille Girardat Myers, PSBA’s president. “I would like to thank our Membership Committee and our Driver Recruitment Campaign Task Force for all their efforts to ensure our school bus driver recruitment campaign, You Behind the Wheel, will raise awareness about the benefits of becoming a professional school bus driver. The final outcome will allow our members to be involved in our overall campaign and to personalize various parts of it to meet their recruitment needs.”
According to PSBA, 88% of K‐12 students from urban, rural, and suburban communities in Pennsylvania begin and end their day on the school bus. However, a shortage of drivers jeopardizes the state’s ability to get 1.5 million students back and forth safely to school and other activities.
“We’re proud that during the pandemic school bus drivers remained on the job, dealing with various types of schedules and working as full partners with our school districts,” said Aaron Sepkowski, PSBA’s second vice president and membership committee chair. “Our membership committee had this fabulous vision two years ago that our members would benefit from a driver recruitment campaign. Our members are working hard to ensure the bus driver seat will be filled as we plan for a full schedule of school and activities this fall.”
The PSBA, which was founded in 1980, consists of over 300 school bus contractors and industry partners.
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