Alaskan tourism companies will be in Steamboat Friday to recruit summer bus drivers | SteamboatToday.com

Alaskan tourism companies will be in Steamboat Friday to recruit summer bus drivers

Scott Franz

— The Stock Bridge Transit Center on Friday will become a gateway to The Last Frontier.

A recruiter from Holland America Line and Princess Cruises will be at Stock Bridge from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seeking drivers who want to spend their summers in Alaska or the Yukon.

The tourism companies will pay for commercial driver’s license training and provide travel assistance.

In Alaska, the companies run bus tours in Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau, Denali and Fairbanks.

Friday’s recruiting event will be more than just a job fair.

It could be the start of a beneficial driving recruiting relationship between Alaska and Steamboat Springs.

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“What this does is it really opens the door,” Steamboat Springs Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said.

Flint said there are plans for Steamboat Springs Transit to make a similar recruiting effort in Alaska early this summer.

He said if some of this city’s seasonal drivers decide to spend their summers up there, word of mouth could convince some Alaskan drivers to come and spend their winters driving here in Steamboat when it is harder to recruit bus drivers locally.

Both Holland America-Princess and Steamboat Springs Transit are finding it tough to recruit enough seasonal bus drivers as the economy recovers and hiring becomes more competitive.

Flint said the recruiting partnership is possible because the transit providers in Colorado and Alaska experience their driver shortages in the opposite seasons. The partnership also means buses are driven by experienced drivers who have already had experience driving in snow and ice.

The summer driving jobs in Alaska are open to anyone who will be 21 by Feb. 1 and who has less than two moving violations.

The jobs pay between $10.50 an hour and $13 per hour, depending on experience.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10