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INDEPENDENCE — Tutorials are now available online for anyone wishing to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.
Individuals hoping to get hired on at the new medium-security prison being built in Grayson are highly encouraged to obtain the certificate prior to applying.
According to Neal Satterwhite, director of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, those who have the certificate prior to applying will stand out above those without.
The tutorials are available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Wytheville Community College office at Crossroads. After Aug. 25, the hours will stretch to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The tutorials are completely free.
Satterwhite stressed that the tutorials are not in a classroom environment, nor do they have a teacher. People can spend as little or as much time as they would like at any given sitting.
WCC Coordinator at Crossroads, Roger Halsey, said anyone wishing to take the tutorials must check in at the WCC office at Crossroads and indicate they need the password to get to the online tutorial.
“What that does is allow us to have everyone signed in that’s doing the tutorial, so we can contact them prior to the test date to remind them,” he said.
After completing the tutorials, individuals are required to take a test.
The test will be free for those displaced by the Vaughan Furniture layoffs, as well as those currently unemployed.
Anyone who has a job, but is interested in working for the prison, will be required to pay $45 to take all three parts of test. Each individual test is $15.
One test is scheduled for Aug. 29 at 8:30 a.m., but another — likely Sept. 19 — might be added if the demand is there.
To register, call the office at (276) 744-4974 or register on the day of the test if space is available.
Test-takers will be given a score and ranked in one of three categories — Bronze, Silver or Gold. The Virginia Department of Corrections is looking for a Silver or Gold placement to be hired as a correctional officer.
The CRC helps employers by certifying that a recipient possesses core skills in applied math, reading for information and locating information skills that are required by at least 85 percent of all jobs profiled by ACT WorkKeys in the country.
The Virginia Department of Corrections has said it plans to hire 40-50 correctional officers by mid-September who are willing to relocate for the next two years — with an understanding that they will be transferred to the Grayson facility when it opens in 2010.
According to the DOC, all those hired early will be required to attend the department’s training camp in Goochland before having the opportunity to work in another Virginia correctional facility.
DOC representatives have said they will try to place individuals as close to home when possible for their training.
Satterwhite encouraged those hoping to get hired initially to begin the tutorials immediately so they will be ready for the job fair in September.
He also said those hoping to get hired on at a later date should begin working through the tutorials and obtaining the certificate so they are ready when the rest of the jobs become available.
Applicants must fill out a Virginia State Application and can do so now at www.jobs.virginia.gov. Although the applications cannot be submitted for the Grayson facility yet, the application can be saved and submitted at a later date.
Anyone interested in learning about the job opportunities at the prison can visit the WCC office at Crossroads, where a bulletin board has been set up with each department’s information.
Various sheets spell out the types of jobs available, as well as the expected salaries and qualifications.
WCC is also offering four different degrees to help get people more qualified — administrative services and technology, building and maintenance, correctional officers programs and a nursing degree.
Halsey said space is limited in the college’s programs and those interested need to sign up as soon as possible.
• For more information on the CRC visit www.crc.virginia.gov or contact WCC at Crossroads at (276) 744-4974.