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Looking for a job? Find a career

 

When inmate case worker Brook Brallier hears the metal doors of Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland clang shut behind her, one person comes to mind: her 7-year-old daughter, Gabriella.

“My job, my pay, that’s what provides for her,” the 13-year veteran said. “That’s what’s going to put her through college.”

Public Safety “Operation Hire” events are traversing the state, looking for counselors, electricians, plumbers, dietary workers, social workers, psychologists, and medical and dental workers.

Brallier, who grew up in Pennsylvania, knew she wanted a career in corrections since the sixth grade, when she took a tour of the county prison. “I was like ‘this is cool, this is neat,’” she said.

She graduated from college with a criminology degree,  a perfect fit for her calling. Though Brailler has a college degree, correctional officer can start with the department earning $38,000 a year with a high school diploma or GED.

Brallier started out as a correctional officer and now guides hundreds of inmates through everything from education to preparing for a job when they leave.   

“I love my job, it’s the people, everybody has to be there for each other,” said Brallier, 43. “It’s a very good job, a secure job, people know what is expected of them.”

Next door at the North Branch Correctional Institution, Captain Jason Harbaugh is in his 18th year, rising through the ranks. The plethora of positions in the system enticed Harbaugh to make his initial correctional officer job a career.

“One of the greatest things I’ve found is the diversity of positions,” Harbaugh, 40, said. “There is so much here if you choose to participate in the opportunity. It’s not just a job, it’s long-term.”

When he took over a year ago, Secretary Stephen T. Moyer made it a priority to fill the vacancies in the department. Not only do recruiters attend regional job fairs looking for candidates such as Harbaugh, but the department will be holding Operation Hire events from Cumberland to the Eastern Shore.

Decatur Chesley, an employee with the department’s Division of Parole and Probation in Baltimore, retired last year with 42 years of service at 78-years-old.

“I liked the work I was doing and the folks I was working with,” Chesley said. “It was challenging, it was the type of job you had to be committed to your regiment.”

Story ideas? Contact Gerard Shields at gerard.shields+@maryland.gov or call 401-339-5834.


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