(10/18/2002)
Gilmer's Economic Development Director Jim Fealy says the new federal prison will eventually hire more local people, possibly up to 60%. Fealy has been helpful to a number of Calhoun applicants, although none have been hired. Here is his letter to The Hur Herald.

The Gilmer County Economic Development Association has been working very hard over the past five years getting the word out in the area as how to prepare for a job with the new Federal Prison that will be opening soon near Glenville. Literally, thousands of people have received assistance whether looking for a construction job or one of many permanent jobs at the new facilty.

The Bureau of Prisons has been more than helpful in this regard as job fairs were held on more than one occasion and the respective fairs were attended in total by nearly 800 people. From the very beginning, the FBOP indicated that forty percent of the workforce at the prison would transfer in as it is a necessity in opening a new facility to have experienced personnel in key positions. The other sixty percent will be new hires and these new hires can come from our region if good, qualified applicants apply.

Warden Bryan Bledsoe is a very good and honorable man and he is doing an admirable job in staffing the facility with upstanding men and women that will make the community proud. He is making a conscious effort to give local residents who are qualified every chance to gain employment and his staff will go the extra mile to assist you if take the time to contact them. The local number for the Bureau of Prisons is 304-462-0395. You will be impressed with the staff and their willingness to help.

Business in Gilmer County has seen an increase over the past few years due to the construction and many local business people have reported record years. The Bureau of Prisons has been buying locally at every opportunity and the economy is certainly going to take a turn for the better. A new Three million dollar hotel will soon be under construction as will other retail stores. Several new houses will soon be constructed to meet the demand.

New residents have already begun to filter in to the area bringing with them several children that will help the school system grow as is needed to get necessary funding from the state. The residents of Gilmer County have been quick to welcome the new residents as they know it is imperative to reverse the population loss we have experienced over the last several years. A growing tax base, not a shrinking one is our goal in Gilmer County and these new residents will increase it considerably. The FBOP has a reputation for hiring only the best and it will be a credit to have these fine men and women in West Virginia.

As far as the application process, the Gilmer County EDA will assist anybody that might have a problem. The Web Site Address for those wishing to apply for a Correctional Officer Position is www.bop.gov Click on the employment link and follow the directions and you will receive a score immediately. Other jobs are posted as needed on www.usajobs.opm.gov and although a little less user friendly, it is still easily navigable. Go to job search and click on Federal Bureau of Prisons, it will then allow you to click on the state which you are searching for work and then click submit. it will then give you every job opening for the BOP in your state. Unfortunately, you either have to sign up for e-mail alerts or check back regularly to know if the job you are interested in is open.

The Gilmer County Economic Development Association stands ready to assist not only residents of Gilmer County, but any interested party. We can be reached at 304-462-8098 or toll free at 1-800-480-8098. You can also contact us by e-mail at jim@gceda.org

Our web site, www.gceda.org also has employment information which could be very helpful. Opportunity exists for the people that take the time to call and ask questions. Remember, if we do what we have always done we will get what we have always gotten.

Warmest Regards,

Jim Fealy
Executive Director
GCEDA
P.O. Box 223
Glenville WV 26351
304-462-8098


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