DUNCANNON, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Department of Education Acting Secretary Eric Hagarty drove a school bus at the Rohrer Bus facility in Duncannon today to highlight the critical need for bus drivers.

“As we work to ensure that students in all areas—rural, urban, and suburban alike—have access to a high-quality education, we must also provide access to safe, reliable transportation to and from school,” said Acting Secretary Hagarty. “School bus drivers are critical in that mission, and PDE is committed to supporting this industry as it works to recruit individuals to the workforce.”

Acting Sec. Hagarty says there is a need for nearly 3,000 school bus drivers. Pennsylvania already has a qualified workforce that could fill the void.

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“There are around 375,000 people in Pennsylvania with a CDL, so if only one percent of those folks decide they want some supplementary income or come back to work, we can do that,” said Hagarty.

The Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) has developed a websites to help with recruitment. YouBehindTheWheel.com, helps educate people about the school bus industry and get them interested in becoming a driver, and SchoolBusHero.com, is a free job portal that PSBA members can use to advertise open positions in their company.

“On behalf of the PSBA and entire school transportation industry, we are thrilled about the Department’s support in creating further awareness about our industry and the important role our people play in the educational system by safely transporting our most precious cargo, and the challenges we are facing,” said Vice President of Rohrer Bus David Schrantz.

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Rohrer serves nine school districts in the Midstate. They are currently looking for 75 drivers. Pay ranges from $16 to $20 an hour. If you don’t have a CDL, Rohrer will help you get one.

“It’s a great job for people that are bridging the gap from full time employment to retirement but also for younger stay at home parents. We have folks who bring their students with them on the bus everyday and its a really good solution for families who are looking to supplement their income,” said Schrantz.

Individuals interested in becoming bus drivers can fill out the PA School Bus Driver Interest Form online.