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The Magic Bus: With 50+ $25/hr Jobs Open, Jastrzemski, NFTA Announce Plan to Offer One-Day CDL Testing

Author: Anonym/Friday, September 15, 2017/Categories: General

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NORTH TONAWANDA—Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski is working to help the NFTA fill dozens of bus driver jobs—and plans to open the DMV here as a one-stop testing center next Saturday.


Jastrzemski and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officials will roll out their plans for the Sept. 23 Commercial Drivers License testing at a Friday morning press conference.


The stakes are high. As NFTA spokeswoman Helen Tederous explained, “The NFTA/Metro is looking to hire approximately 75 to 100 drivers and mechanics over the next two to three years.” Tederous said as many as 50 to 60 of those jobs need to be filled immediately.


While the jobs are open, they require certification, and that’s where Jastrzemski, who oversees Niagara County’s three DMV sites, stepped in. He arranged with NFTA officials to bring a bus to the county’s North Tonawanda motor vehicles office on a Saturday so that applicants could take both the written portion of the Class B permit test. The NFTA will also offer test-takers an opportunity that day to tour and familiarize themselves with an actual vehicle similar to the one a successful applicant would ultimately drive.


Those applying for the NFTA positions can take the test for free.


“We’re holding this at the North Tonawanda DMV because we felt it was a good, central location for Western New Yorkers in the NFTA’s operational area, and because we want to pair local residents with good jobs,” Jastrzemski said. “But you can’t be a bus driver without a CDL license, so we’re taking extra steps to help people move through that process quickly.”


Jastrzemski added that he hoped the move protects existing bus routes by ensuring NFTA/Metro has enough bus drivers to continue to staff routes used by many Niagara County residents.


“Many of our elderly, our disabled, and our special needs community rely on those bus routes to gain access to shopping, to services, to a fuller life,” Jastrzemski said. “Someone has to drive the buses, and for obvious reasons, I’d like that to be a local resident.”


For those who do go through the application process, gain their CDL licenses, and become NFTA drivers, the current bus driver pay scale goes as high as $25.49 an hour, and includes retirement and health benefits.


Officials will explain the application and testing process further at the Friday press conference, which will feature B Roll opportunities including local officials arriving on an NFTA/Metro bus.                                                                                               


WHO:  Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski, Niagara County Legislature Majority Leader Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, Niagara County Legislature Vice Chairman Clyde L. Burmaster, R-Ransomville, Legislator Rebecca Wydysh, R-Lewiston, Legislator Tony Nemi, R-Lockport, Legislator Owen T. Steed, D-Niagara Falls, Mayor Arthur G. Pappas, R-North Tonawanda, NFTA Human Resources Director Karen Novo, NFTA Public Affairs Director Helen Tederous, Adam Sassone representing the Governor’s Office, Deputy County Clerk DMV Robin Matikosh, Motor Vehicle Representative Kelly Marranca, NFTA Senior Station Manager Steve Scime.


WHAT:  Announcing partnership with NFTA to administer free CDL tests for applicants.


WHEN:  Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.                                           


WHERE:  North Tonawanda DMV, 500 Wheatfield St., North Tonawanda.


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