SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In this new digital age, it may seem like physical “We’re hiring!” signs are dwindling, with most job applications only found online.
The Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP), also known as “Fed Med,” is breaking the mold by advertising job opportunities on its front lawn, with an electrical sign that lists open positions.
The Fed Med currently houses just under 1000 inmates and is staffed just above 90 percent, but they’re still looking to get staffing to 100%.
Joe Davis, executive assistant and public information officer for Fed Med, says employees often retire in waves. Right now, Fed Med is experiencing more people retiring and leaving behind open positions.
He says using the electronic sign has helped bring in more applications than usual.
“Over the past two months, since it’s been up, 75 different people have applied for it,” said Davis. “They’ve all referenced the sign as a reason they’ve applied.”
Davis says the sign is a new and unconventional way to let people know they’re hiring.
“We do post online but we have so many people that drive by on a daily basis,” Davis said. We just thought it was a perfect way to get our message out, ‘Hey, we’re hiring. Hey, we need this position. Hey, we need that position.'”
The U.S. has seen a recent shortage in both nurses and correctional officers. Davis says Fed Med is no exception. The most positions they’re looking to fill are nurses, correctional officers and doctors.
“We’ve been affected by it,” said Davis. “We have to think outside the box. We have to look at different ways to attract people. You could not ask for a better way to attract people, than having an electronic sign on such a busy thoroughfare in Springfield.
“We’re always trying to get our staff to 100%. It’s a constant challenge because, you know, we’ll have people retiring or, you know, moving to another prison. We’re like any organization. We want to be fully staffed as much as possible, but in a prison setting, you want to be as fully staffed as possible because it can directly affect the safety and security of the institution.”
Davis says though the work is different, he loves working at Fed Med.
“I think that some of the best benefits are just the sense of family we have here. It’s a great place to work. Staff gets along really well. Everybody takes care of each other and, you know, it’s a well-respected institution in the community,” Davis said. “Everybody around the town, if you say, ‘Fed Med,’ they know where you work and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, my brother works there,’ or ‘My sister works there.’ It’s a really nice place to work.”
Fed Med says because the sign is working so well, it’s actually loaned to another institution for the same purpose. Davis says he expects the electronic sign to be back up in front of Fed Med in about a month.
If you’re interested in applying for a job at Fed Med, you can view open positions here.