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Now to work: Douglas County Corrections.

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — The Douglas County Department of Corrections is looking for some good men and women and is willing to pay good wages to recruit candidates.

The site screams “Now hiring.” One click, and here it is: $30 an hour with everything from health insurance to vacations and even pensions. Overtime will raise those wages even higher.

In the huge building at 17th and Jones in downtown Omaha, Corrections Director Michael Myers reviews incoming applications.

According to him, there are now 406 correctional officers on the staff. Ideally, the department would need about 450 people to guard and supervise about 1,100 prisoners.

“We have made huge strides in recruiting since this wage went into effect. We are among the highest paying correctional facilities in the United States, and this attracts local, regional, and even people from other parts of the country,” Myers said.

Candidates go through six weeks of training, including simulations and practical exercises.

Myers acknowledges that the job isn’t for everyone, but adds, “Last year we really started putting a lot of focus on building our employees’ resilience and wellness efforts, developing resources for them to deal with the stresses and challenges that this profession presents. ”

At the end of this month, the department has an academy with 40 applicants.

Myers told 6 News that the “Now Hiring” sign will remain on as job applicants sometimes change their minds and quit before the process is complete. He says that, as with many industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape in which attracting and retaining workers is becoming harder and harder.

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