CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The need to fill school bus driver positions has been a common shortage for the past several years, but officials say that the current lack of drivers this year in West Virginia is increasing.
In north central West Virginia, especially Harrison County, school boards have been promoting new hires to fill vacant driver spots. Jim Linger, School Bus Supervisor for Harrison County, said that one of the reasons for the lack of bus drivers could be due to the current pay.
“A lot of it is, you know, the pay compared to what they do. They can get paid better driving water trucks, and the oil business has certainly hurt bus drivers,” Linger said. “To be able to compete with other businesses, the states got to do something to make it more feasible for the people to be a bus driver.”
Harrison County has recently filled all bus driver positions for the upcoming school year, but the new concern is finding substitute drivers to fill in when needed as currently, there are only two substitutes for the county’s 93 drivers.
Harrison County Schools interviewed eight drivers that will move on to training courses to become official bus drivers for the county, but still have a lot more positions to fill. If a bus driver needs to step out before the training process ends, this could affect bus routes where students will have to find another way of transportation.
Linger said that in order to apply for a substitute/bus driver you can go on the Harrison County Board of Education’s website.