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St. Johns County Schools searching for drivers amid issue with “application flow” in 2023

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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla — The St. Johns County School District is looking for your help to get more students to school, as they’re looking to hire bus drivers during ongoing district shortages.

On Saturday, the district held a hiring event in St. Augustine which aimed to raise awareness to open positions, while also giving those interested practice behind the wheel before applying.

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“We do this anytime of the year. This is our event to raise awareness. And we tried to get as many people here as possible,” said Phil Rizzo, Assistant Director of Transportation for St. Johns County Schools. “And these are very sophisticated electronics on the bus to make them safe and easy to drive … I like to say ‘try it before you apply it’.”

This all comes during ongoing bus driver shortages across Northeast Florida, with St. Johns County having issues of its own finding new drivers.

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“I would say the difference in 2023 has been the application flow has been a little slower than what we’ve seen in the past couple of years,” Rizzo told Action News Jax at Saturday’s event. “I don’t know if that’s due to the housing slowing down in the county as far as people moving here. Obviously, [Action News Jax] report[s] on cost of living and things. So there’s a lot of things that influence why people would apply.”

Now, the district is looking to fix that issue of applications beyond just Saturday’s hands-on hiring event.

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“Call our number off the posters or the banners at the schools or the number. It’s [904]-547-8814,” added Rizzo.

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