Getting In-Demand Drivers on the Road

Getting In-Demand Drivers on the Road

College is training bus drivers as school year approaches

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

The calendar says summer but all eyes are shifting to the start of the school year. Local school districts are preparing for students’ return and that includes a transportation plan to get students to the classroom.

As with other industries, there is a need for licensed bus drivers. Some school districts have had to revise their routes or level of service based on driver staffing.

“We’re just short in the transportation industry as a whole and school bus is not different from any other part of it,” explains Rob Behnke, director of Truck Driving at Fox Valley Technical College.

The encouraging news is FVTC has seen an uptick in the number of individuals coming to the college to obtain a Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Drivers must also earn school bus and passenger vehicle endorsements, but with smaller-group training at FVTC, drivers can be ready for hire in two to four weeks.

Rob meets many of the individuals coming to the college. Given the gap in the workforce, Rob makes it a point to highlight the benefits of this career option and how it fits many different lifestyles.

“It could be a single parent, it could be the mom or dad, maybe it’s a second job,” Rob explains. “We see retired folks operate buses quite often. With flexible hours and good pay, there are a lot of benefits.”

Local media recently reported on the need for bus drivers and how FVTC is helping get drivers into the workforce.

FOX11: FVTC sees rise in school bus driver training interest amid ongoing shortage

NBC26: School bus driver shortage persists; Fox Cities’ efforts to fill gaps

WBAY-TV: With the new school year approaching, some districts are still looking for bus drivers