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Raytown School District Hosts “Test Drive Tuesday” Event to Fill Vacancies

RAYTOWN, Mo. — The Raytown School District is hosting a new recruiting round called “Test Drive Tuesday.”

Those interested in becoming school drivers can simply show up on the day and get a feel for the job.

“What we often hear is, ‘This vehicle is just too big, I don’t know if I can do it. So we came up with this idea of ​​bringing people in and letting them try and maybe they’ll find out it’s not that scary,” said Kevin Easley, transportation manager. “When you’ve finished the test drive, they drop you off at the front door. You can come in and apply and we’ll conduct the interview there. We like to make it as easy as possible for anyone interested.

Easley says he hopes recruiting events like this help drive home the idea that this job is a viable option for many people. He and his team target a specific pool of untapped potential.

“There must be people we haven’t contacted yet, who haven’t tried it, who’ve always thought about it but were scared,” Easley said. “And maybe just given the right opportunity, that we can turn them into a driver for Raytown.”

Easley further weighed in on the type of candidates who would be a good fit.

“You have to be able to pass a physical and drug screening, and there are a lot of state licensing requirements, so you’re looking for a pretty special person,” he said. he declared.

The district hopes to leave the stress of this lingering shortage in the rearview mirror as school districts across the country are still on the fight bus.

With eight vacant driver positions in the district, the department is still actively working to uniquely recruit.

“Last year it started the second semester. We had to call our emergency drivers, so we prepared for the upcoming shortage with teachers and technology staff, administrators, vice-principals all having their license,” Easley said. “By the middle of the semester, even with all these emergency divers, we had more openings than available drivers, which resulted in route cancellations.”

At present, the district currently operates approximately 36 routes with 34 drivers.

If the shortage persists, it will mean that more roads will be cut. To help, Easley is offering new recruiting incentives, including a $350 signing bonus for licensed drivers, and the district is also awaiting approval for referral bonuses for current employees.

“I feel like they need me and I need them,” said pilot candidate Marlean Sticklin-Hack.

Sticklin-Hack decided to come and apply for the job on a whim after seeing the call for drivers on the news Tuesday morning.

“God puts you in the right position at the right time,” Sticklin-Hack said.

Her dream job is to open a restaurant in memory of her loved ones, but it takes money to do it. She hopes the salary from this gig will help her get there.

“I have to control those borders though,” she said.

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