GRANTS – Jobs?
Forty jobs? Wow.
Western New Mexico Correctional Facility on Lobo Canyon Road is hosting screenings all this week through, Saturday, Sept. 15, to fill 40 correctional officer positions.
“In the last year we’ve many retirements,” said Deanna Hoisington, deputy warden of the prison facility. “The current need is 40 correctional officers, including several supervisory positions.”
Starting pay is $12.35 per hour. Following an eight-week training course, the pay jumps to $13 per hour.
However, there are qualifications. A person must pass drug, polygraph and psychological tests.
“Obviously, the position is not for everybody,” said Hoisington.
The last training, conducted earlier this year, started with 60 people but only 17 graduated.
The next training is scheduled to start Oct. 15 in Grants.
And according to Hoisington, “This is more than likely the last WNMCF training in Cibola County. We’ve been lucky the state has allowed us to host trainings here in Grants,” she explained. “We had to fight for this one in October. There is a real good chance this is the final one.”
Most state correctional officer trainings are held in Santa Fe.
“So unless things change, after the October training, new state correctional officers in Cibola County will be going to Santa Fe for training,” said the deputy warden.
Currently, the training is eight weeks long, “Which could be challenging for some families,” said Hoisington. “For example, not every family has two vehicles.
“We are hoping starting in January, the state changes to a four-week program.”
The hometown training is not the only topic of discussion, said Hoisington.
Currently, state correctional officers enjoy a 20-year enhanced retirement and the plan is rated as one of the highest offered pension plans in the United States. However, that could also soon change.
There are proposals to reduce the retirement plan in the upcoming state legislature in January from 20-year to possibly 25 or 30-year retirement. “More than likely, 25-year,” said Hoisington. “But you never know.”
Persons hired for the October training, will qualify for the 20-year retirement.
“So, between the two things – possibly the last training in Cibola County and reduction in the retirement plan – we are hoping to draw more people to fill the 40 positions,” Hoisington emphasized.
Following this week’s training, there will be additional screenings conducted in Santa Fe.
“The process does take several steps but again, it is an excellent time to start a career in corrections,” said Cristina Rodda of the New Mexico Corrections Department.
If hired, benefits include medical, dental, vision, legal insurance, 20-year enhanced retirement and uniforms, totaling nearly another 35 percent to the salary, which is approximately $36,500 per year, according to Hoisington.
There is a “help wanted ad” in the classified section of today’s paper, according to Beacon staff.
The WNMCF is located three miles north of Grants on Lobo Canyon Road.
Screenings, through Sept. 15, start at 8:30 a.m.
Call Melissa Villalobos, 876-8225, or Walter Sarracino, 876-8365, for information on the screening procedures.
Applicants can call Steve Madrid, 876-8498, for a tour of the facility prior to the screening, according to WNMCF staff.