Karren Hill, who has served as a bus driver with Community Transit for over 40 years, smiles with an Employee Excellence Award that she was given.

Karren Hill, who has served as a bus driver with Community Transit for over 40 years, smiles with an Employee Excellence Award that she was given.

For Community Transit drivers, employee benefits are the secret sauce for a great career

We’ve all felt the effects of the current labor shortage. But every cloud has a silver lining. There’s never been an easier time to find a job! So in a sea of opportunities, how can jobseekers find the best opportunity?

“It’s important to look at the full package when comparing options,” says Melissa Anderson, who works in the human resources department at Community Transit. “Benefits like health insurance and paid time off add up to saved income.”

“Many have never heard of a pension, for example,” says Anderson. “It can be a game changer for retirement planning.”

“A pension is a type of retirement plan that provides monthly income after you retire from your position,” explains Community Transit Benefits Coordinator Mary Lowery. “Pension payouts last for the lifetime of the retiree and in some cases can continue to be made to the spouse of a deceased retiree.” Typically, a person must contribute to a pension for a minimum period of time to be eligible, also known as being “vested.”

Karren Hill has worked as a bus driver for Community Transit for over 40 years and is looking forward to retirement at the end of July, thanks to her retirement pension.

“I am retiring before I can collect social security and before I can get Medicare. The fact that I have that guaranteed income means a lot — I don’t have to worry about the stock market crashing it or anything else,” she says.

Along with the pension, Hill says she appreciates the great benefits Community Transit offers, including 95 percent company-paid medical insurance premiums, and 100 percent company-paid dental and vision benefit premiums.

“I like that we have choices in what our medical and dental options are — and we don’t have to pay high premiums,” says Hill.

On top of a $5,000 sign-on bonus, Community Transit drivers can earn more than $57,000 in their first year. Drivers also get 34 days of paid time off, holidays and accrued leave in their first year.

“We also have onsite physical therapy and fitness rooms, and access to Employee Assistance Program resources. I used them when my husband passed away, and they got me in touch with an estate attorney and the first visit didn’t cost anything.” says Hill. “The company also pays you a benefit towards a fitness club if you are a member.”

“It is a good job with lots of opportunities,” says Hill. “I like being out there on my own without a boss looking over my shoulder. You’re not stuck in a stuffy office — you’re outside, seeing different things and people every day.”

Community Transit is hiring bus drivers, mechanics, administrative roles, and more. Learn more about benefits and open positions at their monthly virtual Career Chats. Visit communitytransit.org/busdriver to learn more.

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