JeffCo Public Schools faces shortage of bus drivers, food service staff

District looking to hire over 170 positions
JeffCo Public Schools sign
Posted at 8:59 AM, Aug 02, 2021

With just two weeks until students return to the classroom, JeffCo Public Schools says it's struggling to fill some key positions.

Department managers say they are struggling to hire people this summer for the same reason as many other industries.

“We haven't seen as many people applying or sometimes they apply and they don't follow through,” said Katie Jeter, who directs resources for food and nutrition services in JeffCo Public Schools.

Jeter said the district can’t compete with the private sector when it comes to pay. But food service positions were recently bumped up to $15 per hour, and Jeter pointed to other benefits.

“We're never going to ask you to come in on the evenings or the weekends or holidays,” Jeter said.

Jeter said the district needs about 100 food service workers. JeffCo is also trying to fill 72 school bus driver positions.

Greg Jackson, director of transportation and fleet services for the district, said drivers can make around $19 an hour and the district also pays for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

“I guess that's our bonus — is that we'll pay for your training and you get paid to do the training,” Jackson said.

If the district can’t hire enough drivers, Jackson said they’ll have to consolidate school bus stops and possibly put more students on buses. He said at this point they don’t plan to eliminate service for any students.

Those interested in working for JeffCo Public Schools can browse jobs on the district’s website. Bus driver and bus assistant jobs are available at all four regional terminals.