(07/22/2002)
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 Glenville.

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 benefits.

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.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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