First Student recruiting school bus drivers: 'We can train anybody to drive a school bus'

First Student's goal is to hire 10 more drivers this summer.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 11:04 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Many school districts in our area struggle with not having enough bus drivers.

Rochester is not immune, in fact it’s gotten worse here with low unemployment.

One school bus service is getting a head start on recruiting for next school year.

First Student is offering a $3000 bonus, and that’s on top of $20 an hour.

Jon Goetz manages the people who drive the big yellow buses. His goal this summer is to hire 10 more drivers.

“I have young people, I have retired people,” Goetz said. “We have all genres of people – male, female. You're all welcome out here and we can train anybody to drive a school bus.”

Parents say who’s behind the wheel is more important that any financial perks.

“It can't just be about the money,” Cherie Smith, one parent said. “I think the two important aspects would be integrity and accountability.”

First Student agrees, as they’re responsible for transporting 13,000 students.

“We always look for caring drivers, safe drivers, drivers that have a good attitude with kids,” Goetz said.

Because you never know the impact you can have, by making sure the next generation gets to school safely.

“Small children sometimes will remember their bus drivers way up until they graduate high school,” Smith said, “and I think it's a great thing to be remembered in a positive light.”

First Student completes background checks and drug screenings on each applicant. Those who are hired also have to go through a training program.

If you’re interested in applying, click here.

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