CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you have some time on your hands and you're looking for a little extra money, several school districts in our area are hoping you'll consider driving a bus.
However, it isn't a job for everyone, and that seems to be why there is a bus driver shortage in the area.
"You need more than a commercial drivers license. You have to have a conscience, you have to care, you have to want to be a teacher because you are a part of educating a child," said Paul Williams, Transportation Director for Gaston County Schools.
As of Monday, Gaston County was still short 19 drivers for the year. Union County, NC needs 20. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are 95 drivers short of what they'd like to have on the first day of classes.
"I wasn't hired as a bus driver but I was required to be one," teacher's assistant Cheryl Welle told us when we visited her at the Gaston County bus lot.
It is a job, however, that she has grown to love over the past four years.
"You're in charge of as many as 60 kids on a bus and it is a huge responsibility. You have to make sure you are driving safe and that the kids are safe, but there will always be those children you connect with. A child that needs a smile in the morning because that smile may be the only one they see all day," Welle said.
Gaston County is advertising on the sides of buses. Union County Schools have posted messages on social media. It is all an effort to convince someone to take a second look.
"It would be perfect for someone who wants a part-time job or is retired," Williams said.
For information on the available bus driver positions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, click here.
For information on the available bus driver positions in Gaston County Schools, click here.
In other counties you can check with the district transportation departments to see if they have availabilities.