There are a little more than 70 vacancies for bus drivers in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

The district's Employee Recruitment Coordinator Kaitlin Wilmoth says the goal is to have between 300 and 400 drivers. Right now, the district has 270.  

“Things happen. So sometimes there are delays on routes and so forth," she said. "The bus drivers have been picking up extra routes, and I feel like they are appreciative and very accepting of doing so just because they are, you know, compensated for that. But then, they just really love their job.”

To try to fill those vacant positions, the district will host open interviews on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Education Building, for both bus drivers and custodians.

There are currently five vacancies for custodians. But Wilmoth says the district is planning to make improvements to the custodial program, which will require about 20 new employees in the near future.

Pay is $15 an hour for bus drivers and custodians, and full-time employees receive benefits. The district will assist potential bus drivers in obtaining the required commercial driver's license once selected for the position.

Wilmoth says that these two roles are crucial. Many students rely on bus drivers to take them to school, and custodians keep the facilities clean and safe for children to learn.

But she says these employees can impact students in other ways too. 

“They're not the teacher that we think of when, you know, we talk about a brick and mortar school, but custodians and bus drivers definitely make a huge impact on students' lives," Wilmoth says. "And they can make a connection with a student that could soar that student to a whole ‘nother level. So I think that it's important to recognize these positions and what a difference they make in students' lives.”

Those interested in attending the open interviews can register for the event at the school district’s website. Job descriptions and applications are also available online.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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