Massachusetts National Guard members undergo training to address school bus driver shortage – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – Dozens of members of the Massachusetts National Guard are now on standby to help students get to school as districts face a shortage of bus drivers.

The Massachusetts National Guard was activated earlier this week. Up to 250 members will be available for towns and villages.

They will be able to drive school transport vans, say 7D vehicles.

John McCarthy of North Reading Transportation said the company lost around 350 employees three weeks ago.

“These people left and found other jobs. We also had a little problem with widespread unemployment where it is. But we see a lot of candidates coming through the door now, ”he said.

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard train to deal with a shortage of school bus drivers. (WBZ-TV)

On Tuesday, 75 members of the National Guard began taking fingerprints, classroom exams and a practical exam in order to earn their 7D certifications.

As of Wednesday, 67 were certified and could drive as of Thursday to help Chelsea, Lowell and Lynn school districts.

Another 65 members are in training Wednesday and will likely be able to drive students to Lawrence from Monday.

“These people will be in uniform and meet children like bus drivers do. Bring them to school. They are really excited about this mission, ”said McCarthy.

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