A new program will provide job seekers in the Montcalm and Ionia county areas with the necessary education and technical training for a career as a corrections officer. Adults who may not have a high school diploma or equivalent are welcome to enroll. The program is a partnership between West Michigan Works!, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Montcalm Community College and adult education providers in Montcalm and Ionia counties. The deadline for program registration is August 16, 2019.

“The Michigan Department of Corrections fills about 700 open positions annually,” said Holly Kramer, communications representative with the MDOC. “This partnership is one avenue that can help the department achieve that goal by helping interested applicants meet the education requirements necessary to start a career with the MDOC.”

Participants in the corrections officer job training program will attend Montcalm Community College four nights per week to earn credits in criminal justice coursework.  An additional evening at an adult education location will be designated for General Education Development (GED) or high school completion test preparation, including improving math and reading skills. Participating adult education locations include Central Montcalm Adult Ed, Belding Adult Ed and Portland Adult Ed.  Additional workforce preparation activities will provide access to support services through West Michigan Works!.

After the program participants meet the education requirements, they will apply to MDOC and, if hired, will begin the 16-week MDOC corrections officer academy.

The MDOC corrections officer academy includes eight weeks of classroom instruction, along with eight weeks of on-the-job training where new employees pair with veteran corrections officers.  New recruits become MDOC employees as soon as they begin training. Pay starts at $17.67 an hour.

“Corrections officers play an important role in the criminal justice system by protecting our communities while guiding offenders to more stable and productive lives,” said Kramer. “The department’s corrections officer academy is one of the most comprehensive corrections training programs in the country.”

Applicants must be 18 years of age and pass a fitness test, background check and drug screening to become a corrections officer.

Interested individuals can visit westmiworks.org/iet to learn more or to enroll in the program.