SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With less then a month to go until the start of the 2022-2023 school year, School Bus Inc. in Sioux Falls is still looking to fill open bus driver positions.

In an attempt to fill these jobs, the company set up shop Wednesday along 12th Street west of downtown to hold a recruiting drive.

Kimberly Walters is the driver recruiter for School Bus Inc. She says the roadside recruitment event has resulted in plenty of applications.

“We’re out here because we’re always looking for great people who want to make a difference in the community,” said Walters. “With the school year coming up — we’re about six school bus drivers short.”

Walters says she expects to have those six positions filled by the time school starts. She says that School Bus Inc. runs about 80 routes in the city with about 150 buses.

In order to draw in drivers, the company is offering incentives. “Currently, we’re offering up to a $4,000 sign-on bonus,” said Walters. This is for drivers with a commercial drivers license (CDL) or school bus driving endorsements. If you’ve never driven a bus before, there is still a $2,500 bonus. A CDL with no endorsement will get you about $3,500.

School Bus Inc. is also raising pay. It is up to $22/hour from $19/hour a year ago.

Some may be hesitant about the prospect of driving a school bus, nervous about the idea of driving a big vehicle. Walters says it’s not that intense, and she would know because she’s done it.

“I’d driven nothing bigger than a mini-van when I started driving school bus,” Walters said. “I got in the drivers seat and I just got comfortable, because you have your mirrors — you can see all around your bus — we have great trainers, one-on-one.”

Walters said the response to the recruitment drive has been amazing. “We’ve gotten a lot of applications,” she said.