DCPS wants to add bus drivers and will host a test drive event on Saturday

Looking for a part-time job with full-time benefits? Becoming a school bus driver could be the solution. Daviess County Public Schools is hosting an event Saturday where the public can test drive a school bus and learn about the job and its benefits — including a hiring bonus — in an effort to recruit candidates.

The event will take place from 10am to 2pm at 4801 Frederica Street (the former U.S. Bank building). The event is open to those at least 21 years of age or older with a valid driver’s license, but is aimed at those who are serious about getting involved in the transportation department.

Members of the DCPS Transportation Department will be on site to answer questions about hours, benefits and more.

Grady Cooper, DCPS Director of Transportation, said 24 people attended the opening event last year.

“It gave us the opportunity to bring in people who might have been terrified of riding in that big old bus,” Cooper said. “It’s definitely good for recruiting because some of our best people are sitting at home thinking, ‘Well, I want to find something worthwhile, and I need insurance and benefits, but I don’t know if I can ride that big ‘bus.’ This alleviates that fear and gives them a chance to talk to people who are here and really like what we have to offer.”

Cooper said the test drive will be designed to simulate what a driver would actually experience while driving a bus, to give them a good idea of ​​what the role is.

“It’s not like we’re going to fake a fancy test that gives them an image that isn’t true,” he said. “We have a few events with cones and we maneuver through them. They will sit on the bus with a Kentucky-certified driver trainer who can guide them through the entire process.”

Cooper said the position “in a nutshell” offers full-time benefits for a part-time position.

‘They have personal insurance, they can take out a family subscription. There is extra eye coverage and a dental plan. The pension is Kentucky’s state pension. It is an exceptional package for a part-time job,” he says.

Cooper added that new hires start at $19 per hour, and there is a $1,000 hiring bonus if they complete training and then work for six weeks. He said when he hires a replacement driver, he promises them a 25-hour work week, but they can take on more hours if they’re interested.

Cooper said DCPS currently has 82 routes, but they are “constantly evaluating whether we need to add any more or how we can improve them with a new route program that we have.”

He is looking for at least 20 more people to fill the replacement driver positions, but said adding 30 would be ideal.

“If that dream comes true, we will have many more options, including more field trips for the students and opportunities for the drivers to make extra money,” he said. “We really want to fill these ranks and make it a good, solid transportation department that can provide everything for the community that we used to provide.”

Cooper cited the environment of DCPS’ transportation department as an added benefit of his job.

“We have a great bunch of drivers and monitors, and it’s like a big family here,” he said. “It’s a genuine, warming atmosphere. I don’t just say that to attract people. I live it every day. I see these people and what they do for each other. Everyone helps each other. It’s a good, solid environment to work in.”

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