WEST FARGO — K-12 students will return to school in just a few weeks, meaning we'll once again be seeing yellow buses on city streets and rural roads.
But with school bus drivers in short supply in certain parts of the region, some school districts are trying to attract new workers before the school year begins.
Students in West Fargo Public Schools head back to class at the end of August, and while the district has 50 licensed drivers for its 40 routes, it says it needs at least a half-dozen more.
To fill the spots, the district has turned to radio advertisements, a recruitment video, word-of-mouth and banners to attract potential drivers.
West Fargo schools transportation director Brad Redmond said it's tough to find drivers because of the hours and an abundance of jobs currently available in the area.
"The hard thing is the split shifts, the morning shift for two hours and the afternoon," Redmond said, adding that the local pool of workers is spread thin because of a good economy.
Smaller rural districts are facing more driver shortages because longtime farmers who drove in the winter are aging out of farming and driving. In the Fargo-Moorhead metro it comes down to the employment opportunities available in town.
Valley Bus picks up students for Fargo and some in West Fargo. The service said it is in a good spot this fall, but said they are always interviewing.
West Fargo hopes its ads will attract a few more prospects who don't mind 174 days of work a year, holidays off and some health-retirement benefits.
More information on becoming a West Fargo bus driver can be found on the West Fargo Public Schools website: https://www.west-fargo.k12.nd.us/Page/198