Job description


Director, Health & Welfare Benefits

First things First: Who are we?

Twice the size of our next largest competitor, First Student is the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America. Every day, we complete 5 million student journeys, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts.

Responsible for managing the company’s health and welfare benefit programs, including policies and practices. Works closely with external vendors, HR business partners, Labor, and Executive leadership to deliver solutions that continue to attract, motivate and retain employees while controlling costs, and complying with all federal, provincial and state laws.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Develops and implements strategy and operating plans for H&W benefits in the US and for all benefit plans in Canada. Establishes the goals, action plans and measurements required to ensure effective programs.
  • Directs the planning, design, implementation, and administration of all health and welfare benefit programs. Ensures that the Company maintains legal compliance in both the US and Canada, as well as competitive practices and cost containment.
  • Management and oversight of all Benefit vendors, working with brokers and Procurement to develop vendor contracts. This role also manages the delivery of vendor services, driving compliance with contract service level agreements. Manages any change orders or vendor system implementations and the communication of such.
  • Maintains working knowledge of U.S. legislation that impacts benefit policies (e.g. ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, ACA, IRS Code Sec 125, CARES, etc). Maintain working knowledge of Canadian legislation that impact benefit offerings on a provincial and national level
  • Maintains effective working relationships within HR, Labor, external vendors, and across other company functions/departments. Organizes regular Benefits Committee meetings in both the US and Canada and content for those meetings.
  • Monitors application of benefit programs to ensure conformance to policies and guidelines, including numerous Collective Bargaining Agreement provisions.
  • Acts as an internal consultant and business partner to the divisions regarding benefit issues, queries or impact analysis regarding Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • Develops a coordinated approach with external vendors for annual Open Enrollment across all divisions. Manages employee benefits communication strategy and plans.
  • Manages and reviews the daily and/or periodic work activities of staff (both exempt and non-exempt level), advises on assignments and lead/manage projects.
  • Effectively coordinates with HRIS, Payroll, Time Keeping and LOA system applications as needed.
  • Makes benefits eligibility decisions concerning employee level, location level, and regional level issues.
  • Provides direction to third party vendors on operational issues.
  • Coordinates and documents final determinations on employee health and welfare appeals and other Committee decisions.
  • Explore and bring forth new ideas to further expand our Employee Value Proposition
  • As needed, lead and participate in various special projects and other duties as assigned.

Experience & Skills Required:                  

  • BA/BS degree from a 4-year accredited college or University
  • CEBS certification preferred.
  • Must have at least 10-12 years corporate benefits experience, including 5 or more years management experience, in a large company with a unionized workforce.
  • Working knowledge of retirement plan administration and compliance strongly preferred.
  • Strong leader with demonstrated ability to interact with and influence others effectively – within HR and Labor, at the executive level and cross-functionally.
  • Demonstrated ability to research and identify problems, develops proposals, conduct analysis independently and in collaboration with others, and build support for new programs and plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, manage multiple tasks, set priorities, and successfully deliver on commitments.
  • Knowledge of HR, Benefits, Legal, and regulatory environment and HR systems, including Third Party Benefits Administration Systems. Experience with WorkDay a plus.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills at all levels.
  • Strong presentation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; can successfully influence management and decisions.
  • Strategic thinker who can manage long term and short-term projects.
  • Strong results orientation with a high sense of urgency that can quickly establish priorities and manage expectations.
  • Highest standards of ethical behavior consistent with the heritage of the corporation.
  • Strong customer service skills.
  • Proven ability to drive process efficiency and effectiveness improvement.
  • Exhibits organizational collaboration, the ability to partner across organizational lines and work cooperatively within and outside one’s own organization. Supports key decisions and promotes a spirit of teamwork to demonstrate a unified commitment to the customer.
  • Experience managing external vendor relationships and SLAs.
  • Strong leadership skills that focus on developing, engaging, and empowering talent
  • Motivates and encourages staff to achieve success, serving as a role model for team members in both actions and words.
  • Experience managing remote teams

First for a Reason  


We offer competitive compensation and benefits (which vary based on role, location, and business), including physical and mental health initiatives, medical/dental/vision, and paid holiday/vacation. 

Professional Advancement 

Start here. Go far. We believe in promoting from within which means tremendous opportunities for you, thanks to our strong presence across North America. In addition, our 3 to 5 month Manager-In-Development program prepares future leaders at First Student. 

Extensive Training 

Build skills and knowledge in such areas as safety and security, injury prevention, technology and equipment, and job efficiency. 

Diversity & Inclusion 

Because we’re stronger together, we aspire to have a culture where all people are First. We’re committed to providing an inclusive and diverse working environment for everyone every day. 

Community Service & Impact 

Go where opportunity meets community. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. As the face of First in your community, you’ll have a positive impact on others. 

Apply today and get your career on the road with First Student!  

We aspire to have a culture where all people are First. We strive to attract and retain a diverse workforce therefore all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status. First is also committed to providing a drug-free workplace. For candidates applying to positions in San Francisco or Los Angeles California, First will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance or Los Angeles Fair Chance Ordinance. First is an equal opportunity employer and by doing so we will sustain and promote an inclusive culture that supports future growth for all.

Close large map
99080 - FGA Human Resources
191 Rosa Parks Street, 8th Floor, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 45202
  • Company:
    First Student
  • Terms and Conditions Type:
    Full Time
  • City:
  • State / Province:
  • Job Category:
    Professional & Corporate
  • Location Contact Telephone Number:
  • Vacancy Number:
Share this page
Share with linkedin
Share with facebook
Share with twitter
Share with email
Vacancy Alerts
Create an alert subscription based on this vacancy