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Unless you live under a rock then you are well aware that there is a national shortage of bus drivers in general, leaving schools in a serious lurch and coming up with ways to deal with the shortage.

Governor Kathy Hochul has come up with a plan to address the bus driver shortage in the following ways:
- Outreach to people across the state with Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDL)
- Expansion of CDL testing sites
- State agencies are working on a recruitment effort to persuade CDL drivers to become school bus drivers.
- Outreach to currently unemployed CDL drivers through the Department of Labor and school districts.
- The state is providing additional funding to school districts to can help them offer bus drivers additional benefits and other incentives like sign-on bonuses and more.

Locally, the Oneonta Central School District, through Durham School Services is hoping to recruit new drivers with an upcoming event on November 3 and 4 at the district's bus garage at 108 Silas Lane (location of transfer station) in Oneonta. Both days are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and this is for ANYONE interested in driving a school bus. The district is offering:
- $1500 sign-on bonus for current CDL drivers
- Starting wages from $19.87 - $20.87
- CDL training
- Child Ride Along Program available
- Paid weekly guaranteed hours
- Extra work is available
- Summer unemployment

For those attending this Oneonta event, they will get the chance to drive different size vehicles to get a feel for what it's like. There will also be food and giveaways at the event. Find out more on the Oneonta City School District Facebook page.

If you want to find out about what is involved in getting a Commercial Driver's License, click here.

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