Some Hoover school bus drivers are on the hunt for new jobs. The school system announced plans to do away with bus transportation for all but special needs students next fall.
Resumes of qualified drivers are beginning to show up in neighboring school districts. Some bus drivers have already secured jobs. Some of Hoover's former employees are now working for Shelby County Schools.
Kevin Snowden, the director of transportation for Shelby County Schools, tells me he's already hired four of Hoover's former bus drivers. In fact, the last of those four started his route today.
Snowden says he has received calls, emails and had personal visits from Hoover bus drivers inquiring about job opportunities. As of late, Shelby County has had an average of one job opening for a school bus driver every two weeks or so. Even now, there is one opening for a school bus driver.
For the last opening, 16 people applied. Eleven of those applicants were Hoover bus drivers. As the date nears for Hoover to eliminate its school bus program, Snowden anticipates even more job inquiries coming out of Hoover.
"I believe there will be more in the future as the year progresses and it gets closer to the end of the year I imagine that tensions will increase and applicants will as well," said Snowden.
Shelby County Schools has nearly 23,000 students. Of those, 54 percent ride the bus. On any given day, 326 are driving various routes.
But if Snowden has to turn prospects away, he says he's been in touch with Jefferson and Alabaster and points applicants in their directions.
Alabaster has seen about 15 to 20 applicants and already hired two Hoover drivers.
Hoover Schools spokesperson Jason Gaston says a handful of bus drivers have already turned in resignation letters, but he says school leaders were prepared for this.
"We've had some people leave us for other school systems and that was part of the plan is to give people time to look at their situation and determine what they want to do," said Gaston.
Gaston assures parents Hoover will have enough bus drivers for the remainder of the time its bus services are running.