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Union County Public Schools holds job fairs for several positions including bus drivers, nutrition staff

The labor shortage isn’t just affecting this district, other school districts including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have reported a higher number of bus driver shortages this year.
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 2:29 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:36 PM EDT
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MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - School is back in session, but districts are still working to fill vacancies.

On Thursday, Union County Public Schools held multiple on-site job fairs for transportation, instruction, nutrition, facilities, and its after-school program.

UCPS is seeing the most openings for the transportation and nutrition department. UCPS currently needs upward of 50 bus drivers and 44 nutrition staff members.

The labor shortage isn’t just affecting this district, other school districts including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have reported a higher number of bus driver shortages this year.

“I mean somebody’s gotta feed these kids, somebody’s gotta take these kids home from school and to school. I know this country is in desperate need right now so if you can apply and you get a job that’s income for you,” said UCPS bus driver trainee Laura Pope.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 235,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month and the unemployment rate decreased to 5.2-percent - but still jobs are in high demand.

Bus driver trainee Trenton Duncan says he didn’t hesitate to apply for one of the dozens of driver openings.

“My kids gotta get to school and we need drivers so I felt like it was important for my county,” Duncan said.

Trainee Laura Pope also jumped at the opportunity.

“My kids are in school so I figured I help with that and I know they’re pretty low on bus drivers right now and it’s always good to help out when you can,” Pope said.

School Nutrition Director Denise Lamar says they have 44 openings for nutrition staff - a number that’s usually much lower and nearly filled by the start of the school year.

“We have a total of about 320 staff usually and so that 44 makes it almost one per school it’s not quite balanced that way but that’s quite a bit for us to be short at this time,” Lamar said.

Lamar is encouraging all eligible applicants to apply online.

“We’ll teach you anything you need to know, come on in and be a part of our team,” Lamar said.

The district just recently increased the starting salary for both transportation and nutrition staff.

If you are interested in applying for a job with UCPS click here.

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