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Hiring sessions set for bus drivers

The city will hold recruitment sessions later this month to help First Student, the company that provides bus service for Buffalo Public Schools, overcome a shortage of drivers, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced Friday.

The sessions will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 14 and 15 at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center, 77 Goodell St., where job-seekers will be able to complete applications and interview for positions.

Applicants must be 21 or older, pass a criminal background check and drug testing, and have had a driver's license for at least three years.

Because of the driver shortage, some pupils wait as long as 45 minutes for buses in the morning, school officials said last month.

"It is happening more often than it ever has before," said Gary M. Crosby, the school system's chief operations and fiscal officer. "Our standards are very high. First Student is not meeting those standards."

To correct the problem, First Student uses mechanics to drive buses and is considering bringing drivers here from California, Crosby said.

Schools Superintendent James A. Williams commended Brown for involving several city departments in the recruitment effort.

"Our utmost concern is for the safety and well-being of children, which is why our first priority is to find potential workers from the City of Buffalo who know our students, our streets and our schools," he said.

e-mail: psimon@buffnews.com

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