LAWRENCE, Mass. — Students in Massachusetts will be heading back to school in a few weeks and transportation companies are making a late push to recruit more bus drivers.
Beacon Mobility, which provides transportation for children in more than 60 school districts across the state, said it is facing a driver shortage of about 10%.
The company opened a storefront in Lawrence on Wednesday for a recruiting event and a number of people stopped by to apply for jobs.
“I’m a very safe driver. I’m punctual, responsible and I love kids,” said applicant Maritza Negron. “That’s all I can say. It’s good to help kids.”
Beacon Mobility said that starting pay for bus drivers is between $25 and $30 an hour.
“We’re hiring drivers — van drivers, bus drivers — and monitors,” said Melanie Castillo, of Beacon Mobility.
The company said that the current shortage is not as severe as it was last year, when Gov. Charlie Baker activated up to 250 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to help communities across the state with school transportation.
“We’re going through the process of identifying where our roots are going to be, and then any areas that we anticipate that we might have some shortages,” said Peter Delani, of Beacon Mobility.
Castillo said Beacon Mobility is looking to hire about 200 new employees.