By Bob Weaver|
The Federal Bureau of Prisons will be hiring 350-400 jobs in Gilmer County for the
2002 opening of the new facility. Many local workers will be excluded because of a
37-year-old age cap, including most of the displaced employees of Spencer's closed
Kellwood Manufacturing Company.
Well over 100 former Kellwood workers, several from Calhoun, are being retrained
through a one year long computer science program directed toward filling hi-tech
business and government positions, but few of them are under age 37. Calhoun
resident Caroyln Cunningham, who is taking the course in Spencer, expresses
concerns in a Letter to the Editor today regarding denial of employment for her class
Jim Fealy, Executive Director of the Gilmer County Economic Development
Corporation, says the Bureau of Prisons has excluded itself from federal regulations
regarding age discrimination. "All prison employees, no matter what capacity,
become correctional officers and are required to take correctional officer
Jennifer Whitehair, who teaches the Kellwood re-training program at the Minnora
Center, said 11 of her 14 Calhoun students were over 37 years old.
Fealy said the new prison would hire 40% of the employees from other sites and 60%
from the "local area" which was defined as a 100 mile radius of the Gilmer facility. The
prison has a budget of $25 million annually, with construction costs expected to
reach $135 million.
"There are a few exceptions to the over 37 worker," said Fealy. If there is difficulty in
filling specific jobs, the age requirement can be waived. He said the prison
information can be found on www.bop.gov
Fealy said interested workers should still attend the employment seminar at Glenville
on June 26.