Bus Driver Shortage in the Northland
HERMANTOWN, Minn.- Similar to several other businesses, school transportation services are facing an employee shortage.
Northland schools are back in session, and more bus drivers are needed, especially in the Hermantown School District.
The Hermantown school district usually has 19 bus drivers, including substitute drivers, but they now only have 13 drivers.
“I think the hard part is there’s training involved in being a bus driver, you know, you have to get training in air brakes and certified to drive something with airbrakes and go through the training and certification,” said Superintendent Wayne Whitwam. “So it takes a little bit of time. That’s the other challenge, I believe, getting drivers. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a really good crew that has stayed with us for quite a while, so that’s helpful.”
The district is unsure of what caused the bus driver shortage, but they are concerned about whether or not they will have enough drivers to last through the school year.
The school district offers bus drivers a starting pay of $22 an hour, including benefits and the opportunity for a raise.