S.C. Department of Education struggling to recruit and retain bus maintenance technicians

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Low pay and zero incentives are making it hard for South Carolina’s Department of Education to hire qualified mechanics.

Two former state employees tell WJBF NewsChannel 6 in the past having an Automotive Service Excellence certification gave mechanics a boost in pay.

However, the state later revoked that incentive.

In South Carolina’s School Bus Fleet Update from 2016, State Superintendent Molly Spearman said her biggest concern is the inability to recruit and retain maintenance technicians.

“It’s almost like they don’t want anybody who really knows what they are talking about in there,” said former S.C.D.E. Mechanic Trevor Mattingly.

According to the Department of Education the average mechanic salary is between $30,000 and $36,000 dollars a year.

Qualifications include at least 2 years of mechanical experience in automotive or related repair.

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