Roanoke County looks to hire dozens of replacements - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Update: Roanoke County looks to hire dozens of replacements

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ROANOKE COUNTY -

For dozens of school bus drivers, the last day of school will be the last bus route they drive, leaving Roanoke County to fill dozens of positions.

"It's been very hard, in the last four years we have cut 14.5 million from our budget. We are down 250 employees. the board doesn't want to hurt anybody but they have to do certain things to try to balance our budget so we know we are going to come out all right", said the county superintendent.

WSLS wanted to know how the county plans to move forward in filling so many positions that were already tough to hire.

Dr. Lorraine Lange says they will be holding a job fair later this month in the hopes of recruiting all lost positions.

"We hope that we get a lot of people that will be filling out applications and being hired shortly after that," Lange said.

Seeing new faces driving their children to school has sparked concerns among many parents who have spoken out to the board.

"When we turn over the people who are the most important things over to us in the morning we turn them over to the bus driver, and we know that he will take every precaution to get them to school safety." One parent said.

One of parents main concerns throughout this process has been the safety of their children in regards to who the school board would hire to replace these positions. Dr. Lange says that each applicant will go through a thorough application process complete with a background check.

Applicants will also go through a drug screening and driving test.

The county is already advertising these jobs online. Bus Drivers and bus aides working less than 30 hours per week will not be eligible for full time benefits, including retirement.

An optional part-time health insurance benefit of $2,500 per year will be available for employees (bus drivers, school nurses and cafeteria workers) who choose to participate.

This will be available through a school sponsored group health plan.

Lange says through the difficult decisions the board is hoping to move forward and work towards a positive start for next school year and quickly fill as many positions as possible.

The board will release the number of retirements after they have been approved. The job fair will be held on April 17th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WSLS will continue to keep you updated with the latest.