Youngstown Schools hiring bus drivers to cover more routes

Open interviews will be held Tuesday at the Board of Education building on Wick Avenue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown City Schools is looking to hire more bus drivers and aides to help some of the issues it’s been having with the busing system.

It is also planning to help new hires get their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and give them free training.

There have been many complaints about the school’s busing system, some parents saying their children were dropped off at the wrong stops and drivers admitting that the routes are too long.

When CEO Krish Mohip heard about the issues, he says he decided to take action by hiring a new transportation director. Now, changes in staffing and management have left the district with a shortage of bus aides and drivers.

“District-wide and across the straight, we just have a shortage of bus drivers and we’re trying to fix some of the situations that were happening here in the district. We’re realizing that we need more bus drivers,” Mohip said.

He brought in Colleen Murphy-Penk, the former transportation director for Austintown Schools, to help.

“We do need to add a few more routes here. My goal is to reduce the ride time for the children that currently ride the bus, so putting more buses in, reducing ride time,” Murphy-Penk said.

She’ll be holding open interviews for the positions on Tuesday. Local union representatives say they hope the open invitation draws a crowd.

“Any company would do the same. I mean, we’re short drivers, we need drivers and I think it’s a good process for everybody involved,” said Patrick Kennedy, president of Youngstown’s bus drivers’ union.

Potential hires will need to go through a physical and background check. Then the district will help them get a Class B commercial driver’s license.

“After that, we’re going to send you to a pre-service class for a week and you’ll get to learn all of the necessary information of what we do here to keep kids safe,” Murphy-Penk said.

She says that joining her transportation team gives folks the opportunity to make a positive impact in the community.

“You’re making a difference. You’re making a difference for kids, for families and for the district.”

The open interviews will be at the Board of Education building on Wick Avenue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.