Hoover City Schools begins employee referral program to fill full-time bus driver positions

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Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:46 PM CST
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Hoover City Schools (HCS) is beginning an employee referral program to help fill full-time bus driver positions.

Since the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, the (HCS) transportation department says it has continued its daily operations with a smaller staff because of ongoing challenges filling bus driver positions.

Jeremy Bradford, HCS Director of Transportation, says although the department is short-staffed by approximately 20 bus drivers, daily bus routes have not been impacted. Bradford said, “We evaluate our needs based on daily staffing numbers. We then fill openings with substitute drivers, office, and shop staff members, and then ask drivers and aides to take second and third routes to ensure everyone has a safe ride to and from school. Our staff is amazing. Everyone is dedicated to a common cause and willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish our daily tasks. When asked to take on a second or third route, our employees are always willing to assist.”

District leaders have come together to discuss ways to fill vacant positions and say they hope an employee referral program will result in more qualified applicants applying.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2022, if an employee refers an applicant, they’ll be eligible for a $250 incentive.

Here are the conditions for the current employee to receive the incentive/referral fee:

Applicant must: *Be hired for a full-time position *Not be hired as a substitute *Stay employed full-time for six months.

HCS bus drivers earn $22.00 - $29.30 an hour, and substitutes can earn $45.00 per shift (up to $90.00 per day). Bus drivers can earn more by taking field trip routes at $30.00 an hour.

Benefits include:

● Free dental coverage for employee

● Free life insurance for employee

● State and Federal holidays off

● Work part-time hours with full benefits

● RSA retirement options

The HCS transportation department has an on-site trainer who modified the department’s course of study to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines and trains new prospective bus drivers free of charge. In addition, the transportation department offers reimbursement for an applicant’s Commercial Driver’s License fees.

Jennifer Brown has been an HCS bus driver for approximately five years and says her connection with the students is what she loves the most about her job. “What I enjoy most about being a bus driver is building relationships with the students who ride my bus. I enjoy getting to know them as freshmen and watching them grow up and eventually drive themselves to school. I look forward to them sharing little parts of their lives with me. They tell me about the sports they are involved in and school events. I love seeing them involved and excited about school,” said Brown.

If you’re interested in applying, call 205-439-1120. Click here for more information about becoming a bus driver for HCS.

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