(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) -- Just two weeks after the Board of Education at the St. Joseph School District threatened to stop paying their contracted bus provider, Apple Bus Co. held a job fair on Tuesday to recruit potential new employees.
Bus company staff say a shortage of school bus drivers has affected the service they've been providing the district.
It's been a case of too many school buses too idle for too long.
"It's a difficult job. It's a split shift, part-time," said Shawn Wood, a representative for the company. "There are a lot of different variables working against school districts and contractors."
Apple Bus Co. currently needs about a dozen new drivers to cover their St. Joseph school routes. Their job fair on Tuesday drew around 25 applicants that company officials hope will be able to move into new positions. Those looking to hire say the job can be perfect for someone with a flexible schedule.
"Early retirees, retirees, stay-at-home parents who are getting back into the workforce, folks who don't need a 40-hour per week job to keep the lights on," Wood said.
The drivers work 4-5 hours per day. For a St. Joseph woman who's driven a school bus for more than 10 years, it's proven to be the perfect fit.
"I get paid to take my kid to school. When my kids aren't in school, I don't work on holidays, weekends, evenings," said Angela Hubbard, who's driven for Apple for more than six years. "I get paid to take them to their sporting events and their field trips. It's real convenient."
While the career fair might be over, Apple staff say they are always willing to hire someone with a good work ethic.
"Reliability, consistency, passion about students, passion about student safety," said Hubbard, listing off the characteristics of his ideal employee.
Apple provides bus service to 80 school districts across eight states and transports more than 5,400 students in St. Joseph to and from school each day.