By Bob Weaver|
It appears some people in the greater Gilmer County area are suffering from
the wrong impression regarding jobs at the new federal prison near
About 400 positions are to be filled by this fall, the scheduled opening.
Glenville Democrat Editor David Corcoran said last week's job and business
seminars were "sobering."
Prison administrators "walked" about 100 individuals through the job
application process at last weeks event.
Editor Corcoran, in his paper, focused on positive aspects the prison will
bring to the community, ethnic diversity, social, civic, cultural and economic
He warned the community must become completely familiar with the federal
governments way of doing things. "Hence, for business, the "red tape" will
have to be learned as a matter of routine." he said.
The prison system did not use the local newspaper or media outlets to
advertise or explain job openings or how to do business.
Locally, by intent or neglect, the agency appears to have failed to
communicate the essentials to the hundreds of unemployed workers in the
region, after the location announcement was made.
Each individual applicant must present their qualifications through the
federal hiring system, which is on the internet. Those not internet savvy may
be in trouble.
Editor Corcoran said job applicants should have been preparing for a prison
job two years ago.
While prison officials have stated, along with the government, the goal is to
hire local people, it may be unlikely, at least in the beginning.
It appears many of the jobs will be filled by people from outside the area.
"If our locals don't prepare themselves properly, there will be no jobs to be
had at the prison," said Corcoran. "If only a few Gilmer and area people
qualify for the nearly 400 permanent jobs...that would be a shame."
The Affiliated Trades union filed complaints with the system, claiming they
did not live up to their promise to hire regional construction workers who
have been declared living in an economically distressed area.
Locally, I am familiar with about ten individuals, some with credentials and
degrees, who have experienced frustration with job applications, not the
least being finding someone to actually have a conversation. "Those 800
numbers, they don't like to be bothered," according to one Calhoun
applicant. "One time they got nasty and said get on the internet."
A trip to the new prison office at GSC found no one home.