Bus sanitizing jobs prompt citation

LISBON – Two young men with disabilities are helping keep Robert Bycroft students safe from COVID while learning new mechanical skills.

James Ritchie and Kenneth Zahrndt, both of Lisbon, work a regular 25 hours a week at duties including sanitizing buses serving Robert Bycroft, a K-12 school operated by the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD).

“We recognized a need for additional assistance to keep the buses and driver lounge clean and safe,” said Chad Cole, who co-owns Allegiant Service Center with his wife Brandi. The business is located at 7716 state Route 45.

Brandi Cole said the young men “spray and wipe down every bus after the morning run. They are so good to ask the drivers about any other needs.” Other staff sanitize buses after the afternoon run.

Allegiant, which also operates as Cole’s Auto Service, was presented a plaque from the Reach 4 More employment program for its willingness to hire CCBDD clients. Allegiant’s eight buses run four routes a day, transporting students, some with severe disabilities, to and from Bycroft from all over Columbiana County.

Ritchie and Zahrndt also detail and sanitize the CCBDD’s fleet of 24 automobiles and a special needs van.

“They help Chad in the garage, keeping it clean and organized,” Brandi Cole said. “They help change oil in the vehicles, and are learning new maintenance and mechanical skills like installing new exhaust systems.”

Paul Anthony, business engagement specialist for Reach 4 More, suggested the hires after learning that the Coles needed more help.

“We pay attention to the bus drivers and work with Chad,” Ritchie said.

“The Coles are good people to work for,” said Zahrndt.