TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Public School District is working to fill vacant support positions including bus drivers, cafeteria workers and maintenance workers. Their greatest needs are for bus drivers and cafeteria workers.

The district has openings for 36 bus drivers and says they recently increased starting pay to $11.21 an hour.

“Our district serves nearly 40,000 students each day, and that takes many people including our valued support professionals," said TPS School Superintendent Deborah Gist.

"We currently have a number of positions available."

At the start of the school year, there was a big push to get teachers in the classrooms, and the district was successful to doing that. Now there's a new push to fill about 100 positions that TPS says are just as important.

"When we're short, it's all hands on deck and if you have your CDL, we pull you out and we have you run a route. We also do some creative scheduling to make sure we have the routes covered that way also," said Bill Nafzger, TPS support talent director. 

In addition to bus drivers, the school system needs 23 cafeteria assistants, five cooks, 14 custodian and 19 maintenance workers. With the maintenance category, there are openings for licensed plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians.

"These positions are critical," Naftzger said. "If we weren't able to feed our students, it would be a major impediment to the learning process. You've got to be able to feed them."

Naftzger says he believes Tulsa's good fortune of low unemployment is keeping applicants away. He says it also seems many folks simply aren't looking for entry level jobs -- which is why the district increased the pay for bus drivers.

He hopes more money will bring in more applicants, but until then, the district will do whatever it takes to make sure the students are taken care of.

"We do it," said Support Talent Director Bill Nafzger. "Kids get fed and meals get served and students get delivered, but it's a little tighter than we'd like."

The district says all the openings are full-time positions with benefits. For those interested in driving a school bus, the school will provide the training to get the required commercial driver's license.

You can visit their website for job postings and more information.

To learn more about child nutrition jobs, call 918-746-6352. Bus driver candidates can call 918-833-8100. Custodial and maintenance workers are asked to call 918-833-8000.