North Country
10:56 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Talent Team: Helping Those Eager For Job At The Federal Prison

Josh St. Onge spent about three hours working on a resume to apply for one of the new jobs at the Federal Correctional Institute in Berlin. Good thing he didn’t just turn it in.

“It was nothing close to what needed to be done,” said St. Onge after getting help from the Northern New Hampshire Talent Team.

The Talent Team is a coalition of North Country groups working to help people interested in jobs at the federal prison with the rigorous and complex job application.

There’s no charge for the help which ranges from filling out the job application – which must be done on the internet – to getting advice on the extensive background and credit checks.

On a recent evening St. Onge, who lives in Berlin, was at the White Mountains Community College for a class being held by the Family Resource Center in Gorham. The center is a member of the talent team as is the community college as is New Hampshire Works.

It was the last of three sessions, each of which was two hours long.

The first night focused on credit, which is part of the background check conducted on all applicants.

 “So, we talked about how to read a credit report, what are the myths on credit, what’s changed recently. How credit scores are decided,” said Heather Weste, who works for the Family Resource Center.

On the second night applicants were told how to gather information for the background check. Weste said it requires providing information including residences and work history, education, qualifications and potential conflicts of interest.

“It is a very detailed form,” she says.

The third and final night the session deals with getting ready for an interview.

 “We are going to be talking about how to present yourself in the best light when you go for an interview, when you answer the phone, when you interact with people in a networking setting so someone can have a better chance of getting an interview or getting a job and having a chance to prove themselves,” Weste said.

St. Onge, 23, thinks the corrections job, the pay and the benefits all sound great.

He also appreciates the help of  the Talent Team.

“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “Without it I don’t think I would have had much of a chance.”

Officials say the prison will have about 300 employees including about 200 new hires providing a huge economic boost to the area.

For information about the Talent Team classes call 603-752-1113 ext 3062.