Cincinnati Metro isn't the first employer in the region to offer a hiring bonus to entice new workers. But Metro officials hope a new benefit will sweeten the deal even more: paid training to prepare for the commercial drivers license exam, which can cost thousands of dollars from a private program.
Vice President of External Affairs Brandy Jones says Metro is constantly hiring drivers in a normal year.
"On top of that, we are increasing our services now and over the next five years," she said. "And so as we grow our system, increase our routes, increase our service hours, that will require more operators. It just makes it a little bit more challenging in the hiring environment where we are in right now where everyone's looking for employees and it's a lot of competition."
New drivers are paid $16 an hour while studying for the CDL exams, plus a $1,000 hiring bonus after three months.
Vice President of Human Resources Adriene Hairston says Metro is on track to recruit more drivers than any other recent year.
"We made a couple of changes to some of our policies relative to the background check and nicotine and things like that, that allow us to open up the floodgates a little bit," Hairston said. "We, like everybody else, are struggling trying to be creative and out-of-the-box with what we do and how we attract individuals and retain individuals."
Metro needs more drivers this year to keep up with expanded service through Reinventing Metro; seven routes started 24-hour service at the end of May, and another three routes increased frequency.
Metro hopes to reach at least 524 drivers total by the end of the year, but will hire more than that if possible. More information on the jobs is available at go-metro.com/careers