School districts in Southwest, Central Virginia struggling to fill part-time jobs

Roanoke County needs 20 bus drivers, 20 nutrition associates

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Two days into the new school year, Roanoke County Public Schools is still trying to fill needed positions.

Community relations specialist Chuck Lionberger said the district barely has enough bus drivers to get through the day. It needs 20 more bus drivers and about 20 more nutrition associates to help make sure students get nutritious meals.

"We need some more hands to help that happen as well because we're making it work right now, but just barely," Lionberger said.

The challenge lies in part-time jobs that don't have benefits. Many districts are facing this issue. Lynchburg is short 25 bus drivers, Henry and Campbell Counties each need at least four and Botetourt County needs five to 10 for activities like field trips. Several more districts, like Montgomery County, need part-timers to fill nutrition and custodial positions. Salem and Danville each reported being fully staffed.

The part-time gig is often attractive to retirees or people who are just looking for supplemental income.

"It's so rewarding just to see their face in the morning, and then you get them to smile and open up, that's the reward," said bus driver Thomas O'Meara.

In Roanoke County, you don’t need any experience and training is paid for.

Click here to learn more about how you can apply to work for Roanoke County Public Schools.

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