KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – For some districts in the Miami Valley, school is starting again in as little as two weeks, but a common problem Kettering City Schools and other districts across the area are seeing is a lack of bus drivers. 

“It has a major impact on the entire industry as a whole,” said Todd Silverthorn, transportation supervisor for Kettering City Schools. “You know, nationwide we’re looking at 70 percent of districts that are…facing driver shortage issues.”

Silverthorn, said schools across the Miami Valley are no exception.

“For the past three years that we’ve, you know, been trying to get drivers in, we’ve had a lot of employment growth in the area. We have an Amazon facility a couple blocks down the road…that we noticed at that point in time that we started  losing our applicant flow,” he said.

He explained that some easy access jobs, such as rideshare driving have likely caught the attention of some potential candidates, and many former bus drivers have retired, causing the district to combine the routes of current drivers. And other districts in the area, including Dayton and Springboro, are feeling the crunch too.

“We are short bus drivers, especially subs in the district,” said Scott Marshall, communication coordinator for Springboro Schools. “And you know, we have been for several school years. And our transportation department works tirelessly to help alleviate that.” 

Luckily, both districts said families won’t feel a major impact as a result of the driver shortages. But there are advantages for people who take on the job.

“You are the first face that those students see in the morning and the last face that they see when they go home,” said Marshall. “So it’s a great opportunity to make an impact on a student’s life.”

Some districts are also offering competitive pay, benefits and training opportunities. Silverthorn said staff is asking students and parents to exercise patience as they works to accommodate students on combined routes. 

To express interest in becoming a bus driver for Kettering Schools, call 937-499-1770.

To apply to the bus driver position at Springboro Schools, click here.

To apply to the bus driver position with Dayton Public Schools, click here.

To express interest as a substitute bus driver with Centerville City Schools, click here.