Pittsylvania Co., VA - Pittsylvania County schools are on a search for new bus drivers. The county is having to use all of their substitute drivers to cover the 196 routes in the county.
Older drivers are retiring and they haven't been able to hire new drivers fast enough to replace them.
Ronnie Pickral drove a school bus as a teen, and returned to driving after he retired from banking eight years ago.
For him, the job is about his love for the students.
"You love the children. You may not love the way they act, but you've got to remember to let the children know you love them, " said Pickral.
But officials say they need more people like Pickral in order to accommodate all of the students in the county.
"I'm having to put people out of the shop filling in for routes. I've got also teachers and custodians that are filling in, " said Dir. of Transportation Bobby L. Lovelace.
A change to the training process now requires drivers to log more hours behind the wheel and receive one-on-one instruction, but a lack of time and training personnel has left the county at a disadvantage.
A rapidly increasing retirement rate has their remaining substitute drivers stretched very thin.
"Pittsylvania County is the largest county in the state geographical. So we're having to pull substitutes from one area and pull them all the way across the county, " Lovelace said.
Drivers like Pickral are a great example of how the job can supplement your income after retirement, and there are opportunities for substitutes to move up to full time work.
All they need now is for folks to take that first step and apply.
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Tuesday, August 19 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-08-19 17:03:38 GMT
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