School bus drivers play vital role for PA students

Duncannon, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Department of Education Acting Secretary Eric Hagarty and the Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) traveled to Duncannon to tour Rohrer Bus facilities and highlight the critical role bus drivers play schools across the Commonwealth.

“While we strive to ensure that students in all areas – rural, urban and suburban – have access to high quality education, we must also provide access to safe and reliable transportation to and from the school,” Acting Secretary Hagarty said. “School bus drivers are essential in this mission, and PDE is committed to supporting this industry as it strives to recruit people for the workforce.”

Last October, PennDOT and PDE contacted approximately 375,000 drivers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) to release a survey that will connect interested drivers with school entities. To date, over 1,700 people have expressed an interest in becoming a bus driver. However, between 2,000 and 3,000 additional drivers are still needed in Pennsylvania.

“On behalf of the PSBA and the entire school bus industry, we are delighted with the Department’s support in raising awareness of our industry and the important role our employees play in the education system by safely transporting our most valuable cargo, and the challenges we are facing,” said Rohrer Bus Vice President David Schrantz.

The PSBA has been working to address the shortage of drivers by launching a multi-faceted recruitment campaign. The PSBA has developed YouBehindTheWheel.com, a microsite designed to educate people about the school bus industry and get them interested in becoming a driver, and SchoolBusHero.com, a free job portal that PSBA members can use to advertise vacancies in their company. The organization has also created a digital advertising campaign, a Facebook advertising campaign and a YouTube advertising campaign, which have collectively been viewed millions of times across the Commonwealth.

Those interested in becoming a bus driver can complete the PA School Bus Driver Interest Form online.

The Pennsylvania School Bus Association is made up of more than 300 school bus contractors and industry partners who have come together to be a strong voice for school bus safety and the school bus contract industry. Its mission is to provide programs, education, and services to promote and foster the highest degree of safety in student transportation and to enhance the quality of student transportation through professional management.

For more information on Pennsylvania education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education website. Follow PDE on Facebook, TwitterYouTube or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith – casesmith@pa.gov

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