POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) -- The US Labor Department reported 4.3 million workers left their jobs in August. This was the largest "quit rate" since December 2020. But if you are looking for a new job, the Poway Unified School District is desperately hoping to be your new employer.
It's a job that comes with lots of pride- safely delivering students in your community to school and back.
"I love it. I love working with the kids," bus driver Andrea Schmidt said.
Schmidt has been a Poway Unified school bus driver for the last five years. The former Jazzercise instructor switched careers and followed in her father's footsteps. She said she has loved every second of it.
"I make sure that I have a relationship with my kids and with their parents and also with their teachers because we all work as a team," Schmidt said.
She often creates silly videos of her and her co-workers at the bus yard and posts them on social media. But in the last year, she admits, the staffing shortage is making it tough.
"People are… they're wearing out. They're getting tired," Schmidt sighed.
People retiring or quitting because of the pandemic means 10-hour workdays and covering each other's shifts. Schmidt said they are quite literally gassing out.
"For the first, we do have students on waitlists for bus routes. That means their parents have had to find some other way to get them to and from school," Christine Paik, Communications Director at Poway Unified School District, said.
Paik said the staffing shortage goes far beyond bus drivers. It is desperately seeking food service workers, office assistants, and other part-time, flexible hour positions.
"Shout out to our current staff and employees," Paik said. "We have been asking them the world of our current staff, and they have gone above and beyond."
Paik hopes people looking to positively impact a child's life see Poway Unified as a new career opportunity, just like Schmidt did five years ago.
"There's a special type of person that can be a bus driver. I know they're out there," Schmidt said. "Give us a call. It might be something that you fall in love with too."
Poway Unified has hundreds of openings right now. Many of them require no previous school experience. Positions like bus drivers will also given on-the-job training. For a full list of job openings, click HERE.