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Jessamine County Schools offers free course, increased pay to attract bus drivers amid shortage

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Posted at 5:54 PM, Oct 26, 2021

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Jessamine County Schools is offering a free training course to incentivize people to apply to be a school bus driver amid a driver shortage.

The free course, taught by Jessamine County Adult Education, will run from November 8-12 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

During the course, prospective drivers will prepare for the written test needed to become a driver. Usually, they are on their own to study.

"Some of us have not been in school for quite a long time, so to go back to the classroom, to get a really thick driver's manual to say hey you gotta study this, it can be daunting," interim Director of Transportation, Matthew Simpson, said. "Quite honestly, we were really excited to partner with the Adult Ed program. They just do a fantastic job at teaching those courses."

All training will be paid for once the driver is employed by the District. The hourly pay has also increased.

Previously, it was $16.64/hr and is now $18/hr., according to Simpson.

The school system is offering these incentives because it needs seven more drivers to overcome the shortage.

The shortage is causing some routes to be delayed and is forcing current drivers to double up or triple the routes they have to run.

Current drivers, like Craig Saunders, encourage anyone interested to apply because employees get great benefits, hours, and get to be positive role models for the next generation.

"We want to have responsible citizens," Saunders said. "We want to have people who can make a difference in our society, and we have an opportunity to invest into that, and I think that's a really wonderful part of this job."

For more information or to reserve a spot in the free class, call (859) 887-9052.