Employer Panel: Job Corps

Employer Panel

Job Corps of Ottumwa is our featured employer for the month of November, so we chatted with Vanessa Keltner about Job Corp’s hiring process, qualifications required for different positions, and what she thinks makes working at Job Corp unique.

What is your hiring process from application to hire?

The interested applicant goes to www.CareerSystems.com.  Select Employment > CSD Job Openings and then search for positions available in Ottumwa.

If they are qualified for the position they apply for then our third party recruiter, Joanna Segelson out of California, will call and conduct a phone interview. If they get past that, they will take the HOGAN Assessment.  If they pass the Assessment, they are then presented to me to schedule an in person interview. We then have them come to Center and interview with myself and the Manager of the Department. If we want to hire them, Joanna calls and makes the offer.

What position is most in demand?

Normally, we always have openings in Residential, but, right now, it is fully staffed. The only position we have now is a Cook position. Most of our employees start in Residential; it has been something of a stepping stone that leads to promotions.

What qualifications are necessary for these positions?

Residential, Cafeteria, Security, etc. you are looking at a HS Diploma, anything in Management/Counseling/Instructor you will need a Bachelor’s Degree at a minimum. You must be a Licensed Teacher for our CTT and Academic positions. Any of our Health and Wellness positions you must be a licensed RN.

What positions do you have the most difficult time finding qualified applicants for?

A lot of our management positions are difficult to find qualified applicants for. It is hard to bring someone external in to a management position when they do not know or understand the culture of Job Corps.  So if we do not have internal candidates to fill those positions, it makes it very difficult to staff those positions.

What are the average starting salaries of entry-level employees?

Residential is $13.00/hour

Security/Driver $12.80/hour

Cafeteria Cook $12.50/hour

Food Service Aid $10.15/hour

What is unique about your company?

What is unique is that we have such a diverse culture here on Center. Not just with our staff, but, also our students. It makes this place amazingly interesting. You get to learn about new cultures, etc. It really is a melting pot.

What is your favorite thing about working at your company?

The students. Seeing them achieve their goals/dreams, it makes it worth coming here every single day.


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