Job Fair Being Held to Solve School Bus Driver Shortage Problem

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The Roseville Joint Union High School District is holding a job fair this weekend because they are facing a shortage of school bus drivers for their upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

"Some of them have to double up on routes and then the buses come late and kids are late for school. It just throws the whole schedule off if we don't have enough drivers," RJUHSD Transportation Director Brian Gruchow said.

Gruchow told FOX40 their district is down about 1/5 of the school bus drivers they need to complete all of their routes, and they've been having a hard time finding qualified candidates to apply for the positions. He says it's part of a growing trend, nationwide.

"Most districts are complaining about the same thing. They can't get enough drivers...It's all pointing to the economy, its really good right now and people are gainfully employed, and this isn't a profession a lot of people seem to be that interested in anymore," Gruchow said.

"I love the kids. You get to be outside, all the time, and that's what I like. I'm not stuck inside four walls," bus driver Jeri Merowtiz said.

Merowitz said most people think driving a school bus is easy, but they don't realize how much continued training goes into the job.

"It's just a lot of mental and physical energy. But it's worth it," Merowitz said.

But some students who ride Merowitz's bus told FOX40 they think people haven't been applying for the jobs because they probably don't want to work with kids.

"We can be disrespectful and rude a lot of the time, but I think it's a good profession. I think it would be fun," Oakmont High School student Aziza Mussipov said.

"If you don't like kids then this is not the job for you. You have to like kids. And you have to have a lot of patience," RJUHSD Driver Coordinator Pamlea Zanze said.

Zanze told FOX40 not everyone is the right fit to be a school bus driver, because it's a split shift position that lasts only 10 months out of the year, requires a clean driving record and hours of continued behind the wheel and classroom training. However, they are looking for qualified candidates to driver school buses for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

The Roseville Joint Union High School District is hosting a job fair for school bus drivers Saturday, April 30 at Florin High School from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.


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