CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation will host a series of job fairs over the next two months about positions within the system, beginning with an event Tuesday in Martinsburg.

People interested in working as correctional officers or other staff will be allowed to sign up at the events and even take a basic physical agility test, perform a drug screening and have their credentials checked.

“Basically, we can get the ball rolling for them right there at the event,” said Lawrence Messina, who oversees communications for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Messina said it is a great time to consider a career in corrections; the starting salary for officers will increase to $30,664 in July 2020. Officers who complete one year of employment are guaranteed a promotion and a 7% pay increase.

Gov. Jim Justice approved a $6,000 raise for officers over three years, with the final raise happening next July. The raises are in addition to the 5% raise for state employees.

Messina said the pay increases have helped recruitment efforts.

“Our initial look at the numbers suggests that we have been able to hire more starting correctional officers than have left, and that was true during the just-completed fiscal year and it appears to be the case so far this fiscal year,” he said.

The first career event will take place Tuesday at the Martinsburg Workforce West Virginia office. Six other events will be held through Nov. 7:

— Oct. 1 at the Parkersburg Workforce West Virginia office.
— Oct. 1 at the Saint Marys Correctional Center and Jail.
— Oct. 3 at the South Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility.
— Oct. 15 at the Elkins Workforce West Virginia office.
— Oct. 29 at the Clarksburg Workforce West Virginia office.
— Nov. 7 at the Summersville Workforce West Virginia office.

Each event will go from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The minimum requirements include a high school diploma, a valid driver’s license and passing a physical agility test and a drug screening.

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