Job seekers have the opportunity to cash in as new recruits at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS). Director Scott R. Frakes has announced several programs aimed at boosting recruitment and retaining teammates.

“These programs are aimed not only at attracting new talent, but also showing appreciation for those individuals who have moved up the ranks to take on supervisory responsibilities,” noted Director Frakes. “We need to recognize and reward leadership talent. This is just another way that we can strengthen the agency.”

Three of the programs build on initiatives that Director Frakes launched a few years ago. One of them pays $3,000 to eligible teammates who are hired into certain job classifications at the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP), Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI),  the Lincoln Correctional Center (LCC), and the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center (DEC). The incentive is available to the first 100 people hired in the next 120 days, payable in three increments over the first year of employment.

Certain staff members at NSP, LCC, DEC and TSCI will also receive a merit incentive tied to years of service and employee performance. Previously, only teammates at TSCI were part of the program.

Teammates who refer a new employee to the agency will also be eligible for incentives. “We have increased the amount of payout, based on the new teammate reaching certain benchmarks in their employment, for instance, competing our Staff Training Academy (STA) and the six-month probationary period.”

The final program will reward NDCS supervisors for retaining new teammates.  “First and second line supervisors will receive bonuses of between $125 and $250 dollars when the teammate they manage completes the six-month probationary period,” explained Director Frakes. An additional payment will be available if the new hire reaches one year of employment at NDCS.

These incentives are separate from the recently negotiated contracts between the state and the three unions that represent approximately 70 percent of NDCS staff.   Last week, the state negotiated a contract with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) that provides merit/longevity raises to protective services staff at all facilities. That plan also includes a provision to implement 12 hour shifts at certain facilities and implements pay adjustments for all classifications as outlined by the recent ruling by the Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR).

“These are all initiatives that NDCS strongly supports,” noted Director Frakes. “By building on our past successes, we hope to encourage greater recruitment and retention. We need to use a broad range of approaches in order to attract and retain new teammates.”