See all our School Bus Fleet Trailblazers of 2023 in this article.
Works for: Blue Bird Corporation
Role: Director, EV Strategy and Operations
Describe a day in your professional life.
Moore: I consider myself fortunate, because I am part of an iconic American company that plays a vital role in both student safety and environmental sustainability. My role is to serve as an innovator and a problem solver. Each day is different, as I get to explore new technologies and work with cutting-edge companies to integrate advanced safety systems into our school buses. I’ve driven buses on ice in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan testing stability control systems as well as through the Mojave Desert in July to test hot weather performance. I spend much of my day-to-day professional activities collaborating with suppliers, vendors, and cross-functional departments to advance our electric vehicle program. I’ve been privileged to have a front row seat as we’ve led the way in commercial vehicle electrification and transitioned school buses to zero emissions. Presently, we have more than 900 electric school buses in operation.
What brought you to the student transportation industry?
Moore: I’ve always been fascinated by how things work which led me to studying engineering in college. My first job out of college was working on aircrafts for a defense contractor. After several years, an opportunity became available at Blue Bird that allowed me to move into the automotive industry without having to leave the state of Georgia. I quickly became motivated by the fundamental purpose of the company, keeping our next generation safe as they travel to and from school. I “geek out” about how much technology we can pack under that yellow paint. Today, more than 500,000 school buses carry millions of children to and from school every single day. Most of them are diesel-powered. I get excited about the transformation of our industry, about the shift to electric, zero-emission student transportation. Replacing diesel fuel school buses with all-electric buses would eliminate an estimated 5 million tons of carbon emissions in the U.S. each year. It is great to contribute to healthier students and to cleaner communities.
What’s something critical that you’ve learned during your time in the student transportation industry?
Moore: One of the things that constantly amazes me is how much pride people take in being in this industry. From our teammates at Blue Bird to the drivers and transportation directors I’ve met, everyone has a story to tell. We have employees that have been working here their entire careers, 40 to 50 years, and I know there isn’t a retired bus driver out there who can’t tell you exactly what model and year buses they drove. I think it goes back to the fundamental mission of keeping children safe that is so easy to take pride in. When people are proud of their work, it goes into their job performance and the quality of the product – our engineering, manufacturing, and testing process is rigorous and completed by talented professionals who are “all in” and understand the seriousness of our mission.
What’s your advice for someone considering a career in this industry?
Moore: The best advice I could give someone considering a career in school transportation is to take time to talk with and learn from people in all aspects of the industry. My conversations with everyone from our assembly line employees and field service technicians to dealers and drivers has contributed to a much deeper understanding of the process and the product. My time spent working on the production line is some of the most valuable education I’ve received! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and do everything you can to work to make the product better. When buses are safer, more efficient, and greener, then our children benefit, and we all benefit.
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