St. Clair begins school year with bus driver shortage

St. Clair begins school year with bus driver shortage

ST. CLAIR, Minn. (KEYC) — School starts next week for St. Clair and the district is facing a bus driver shortage.

“We can’t teach the kids unless we get them here and we have a good population of students again this year we’re flirting with 687 kids," Superintendent Tom Bruels said.

For all those students, St. Clair currently has 10 drivers for 7 routes a day, which doesn’t include extra-curricular activities and day trips.

“We try to rotate, borrow from within our company, the other locations. We shuffled some kids around to other routes within St. Clair. But we’d just like to get more people so the routes aren’t as long," Site Manager for Palmer Bus of St. Clair Anna Haack said.

“That transportation piece is so important because with our little kids their first day of school for many of them is going to be stepping on that school bus and if it’s not a positive experience or if there’s glitches involved, that doesn’t start their school day the way they’d like it to,” Bruels added.

It takes about 4-6 weeks to get your license. St. Clair will continue to hire throughout the year, until needs are met.

“You need to do four written tests. You need to do air brake, general knowledge, school bus and passenger and then once you get those writtens done you do a DOT physical and pre-employment drug screen and then we can start training," Haack said.

“Even if they can’t commit to two shifts or on an ongoing basis, just having people that have the certification and the appropriate licensing, gives Palmer Bus options," Bruels added.

You can apply online or contact Anna directly at (507) 327-6763.

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