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Albemarle County Starting Pilot Program to Combat Bus Driver Shortage

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The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved a pilot program Wednesday The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved a pilot program Wednesday
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chair Diantha McKeel Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chair Diantha McKeel
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Albemarle County is starting a pilot program to recruit and train school bus drivers in hopes of helping reduce a driver shortage.

The county says its school system has to hire an average of 20 new bus drivers every year. This program aims to reduce the need to hire so many new drivers through stronger recruiting, screening, and training.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors threw their support behind this one year pilot program Wednesday. The county will partner with Piedmont Virginia Community College to recruit and train 10 drivers.

The county says the schools are perpetually understaffed when it comes to bus drivers.

“The school division has been struggling with getting bus drivers. It's just been a very difficult position and a critical position for the school division. So by partnering with PVCC with this pilot program, we're hoping to be able to train bus drivers to fill a need in our community as well as creating jobs for folks,” said Diantha McKeel, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors chair.

Originally, the county was considering a partnership with the city of Charlottesville’s Go-Driver program which prepares people to become school and CAT bus drivers.

Supervisors did unanimously support four memorandums of understanding to collaborate with the city on the environment, education, transportation, and affordable housing.