Augusta, Maine – Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education (DOE) for the 2017 Maine Hire-A-Vet campaign to offer free training for veterans interested in becoming a school bus driver.
The initiative, which is being offered to help fill an anticipated shortage of school bus drivers in Maine and nationally, offers free training available at local school districts statewide with varying schedules.
According to a 2015 jointly released report of the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of Labor, school bus drivers and special needs bus drivers hold the second highest number of job openings in the nation. The report also identifies the need for bus mechanics and diesel engine specialists.
Since there is already a high percentage of Maine school bus drivers who are veterans, it is hoped that the initiative will attract the attention of more veterans who may be transitioning from serving their country or perhaps enjoying the later years of their lives. A flexible schedule may be especially accommodating for veterans who are looking for a part-time job. 76% of Maine’s veterans are over age 50.
In Maine, there is expected to be about 50 school bus driver job openings available for the coming school year. There is also a need for school bus mechanics.
While the initiative is specifically geared towards veterans, the free training is available to anyone interested in becoming a school bus driver.
The pay range for school bus drivers in Maine is anywhere from $11–$25 per hour for licensed school bus drivers, including part-time schedules and benefits based on location. Some positions include pay while learning to drive and/or a hiring bonus.