Bus driver shortage affecting NCWV

Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - All across the country, school districts are having a tough time finding bus drivers. It’s the same situation here in West Virginia.

With school starting this week, many parents in our area may be wondering how their kids will be getting to school with the bus driver shortage.

Marion County is one of the lucky ones. Right now, they don’t have any vacancies for bus drivers, something that few districts across the country can say.

Even so, school officials say they could still use more.

“We will certainly take as many as we can. We have all of our positions filled. All of our full-time positions are filled,” said Administrative Assistant, Chad Norman.

A lack of substitutes is the bigger issue for Marion County. Chad Norman says the district currently has about a half dozen substitute drivers.

He says they typically like to have at least twice as many.

“We have a pool of substitute bus operators. The substitute bus operators become, as soon as there is a vacancy, they can move into the full time bus operator position.”

Norman says there are always opportunities to work more with extracurricular activities. It takes 56 hours of training to become certified in West Virginia.

Norman says a driver can make anywhere from $15-$20. There’s no shortage of jobs available in our area and beyond. Norman says those openings aren’t just limited to bus drivers either.

“Unfortunately Marion County is no different than any other school district throughout the united states. We to have seen a shortage of school bus operators as well as other positions throughout the county. Cooks, teachers aids, special educators. We to have seen a decline in the number of people wanting to be a bus operator or substitute bus operator.”