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Poway Unified parents step up after plea to help with worker shortage

Poway Unified is not the only school district facing a worker shortage - so is San Diego Unified.

POWAY, Calif. — Parents are answering the call to a local school district pleading for school bus drivers, food service workers, noon duty and instructional aides to name a few.

When the Poway Unified School District launched its hiring campaign it says it received triple the applications, quadruple in some positions.

When the Lee family received a letter from Poway Unified asking to help fill vacant positions, there was no hesitation, Seung applied to be a bus driver and his wife a teacher's aide.

“Why not an extra step in fill in a need that is there," said Sueng Lee, Poway father.

The property management broker is still in training to be a bus driver and said his day job is flexible enough to drive a school bus in the morning and afternoon.

“I thought it was feasible because I have experience driving a Class A-type R.V.,” said Lee.

He said training has been an eye-opening experience.

“It's one of those jobs you don't even think about. The training, it takes a lot of skill to drive these safely,” said Lee.

Although there is more money in real estate, Lee said he never thought driving a bus was below him.

“My daughter, my 6-year-old has special needs and we have a bus driver who is a great bus driver - Brian. So seeing that and seeing how much we benefit from having a great bus driver is one thing I can do and personally understand the value of having a good bus driver,” said Lee.

Poway Unified is not alone. The worker shortage is being felt at San Diego Unified as well.

“We are hiring more frequently than what we would be before,” said Acacia Thede, SDUSD Chief Human Resources Officer. "We would have most of our positions filled by now"

SDUSD turned to TikTok for its hiring campaign.

@sdunifiedhr

Be a San Diego Unified Substitute Teacher! Make your own schedule, make some great pay and make San Diego a better place! #nowhiring

♬ I Wish - Arr. For Marching Band - The Ohio State University Marching Band

Many of the vacant positions across southern school districts are for non-teaching positions called classified jobs such as school bus drivers, food service workers, carpenters and teacher's aides.

Background checks are still in place despite the urgent need to hire.

“We don't take any shortcuts for hiring but what we do is make it easier for folks like streamline paperwork,” said Thede.

And make it flexible for applicants to work at a local school

“If you have the desire and the will and work ethic, I think most people can do this,” said Lee.

Click here if you are interested in working for San Diego Unified or here for Poway Unified School District.

@sdunifiedhr

Come be a part of our team! We’re fun over here! #SanDiegoJobs #SanDiegoUnified #teachersoftiktok #substituteteacher #schoolbusdriver #Fyp #nowhiring

♬ original sound - SPANKY YNVS

WATCH RELATED: Poway Unified asking parents to help fill positions as district deals with staffing shortage - Oct. 13, 2021