Lenoir Co. veterans’ home operators advertise jobs as construction wraps up

David Anderson

Staff Writer

Kinston Free Press

In the coming weeks, the construction workers who have been a fixture off Hull Road in Kinston for the last two years will depart, and be replaced by those hired to staff the state’s newly-opened veterans’ nursing home.

It’s a project which has been five years in the making — county officials hosted a groundbreaking in 2007.

“I’m excited,” said George Graham, chairman of the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners. “We’ve had a lot of people call and inquire about procedures to apply for a job up there. … There have been all sorts of questions out there.”

An exact opening date for the veterans’ home, which is designed to serve 100 residents and bring 150 jobs to the area, has not been set, but construction workers appeared to be focused on interior work in the facility late last week.

The facility consists of a main administration building with four residential wings connected to it.

“We’re excited that it’s here,” Graham said. “It should be open soon; it should be serving veterans and that’s what it’s all about.”

Jill Lucas, spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Administration, which oversees the Division of Veterans Affairs, said an opening date is “undetermined.”

Norcross, Ga.-based UHS-Pruitt has obtained the state contract to manage the Lenoir County home through its subsidiary firm, United Veterans Service of N.C. Inc.

The company operates health care facilities throughout Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, including N.C. veterans’ homes in Fayetteville, Salisbury, Black Mountain, and now Kinston.

UHS-Pruitt is looking to hire about 150 people for the Kinston home, including nurses, certified nursing assistants, housekeeping workers, administrative staff, laundry workers, dieticians, dietary aides and more, said Melvin Moses, vice president of veterans’ affairs for the company.

The majority of people who work at the home will be employees of UHS-Pruitt and will receive benefits packages.

Lucas said in an email they “are not part of state personnel regulations. As such, they fall under general N.C. employment law principles.”

The exception is the on-site veterans’ service officer, who is considered a state employee, and is required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be present.

Job advertisements have been posted on UHS-Pruitt’s website, which applicants are encouraged to visit to apply for jobs.

Ellen Bell, assistant manager of the Lenoir County office of the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions — formerly the Employment Security Commission — said those interested in jobs at the veterans home have been referred to the UHS-Pruitt website.

“They can see what jobs are available and apply,” she said.

To apply, visit uhs-pruitt.com/Working-at-UHS-Pruitt, click the tab that says “Click here for career opportunities at UHS-Pruitt,” and use the pull-down menus to search for jobs in Kinston.

Positions for occupational therapist, rehab manager, speech language pathologist, housekeeping and maintenance are currently being advertised, with instructions on how to apply for each position.

Moses said no one has been hired for the Kinston facility yet and the company puts a priority on hiring local people.

“That is our priority, to hire local,” he said.

Application process

To apply for a position at the N.C. State Veterans Home in Kinston, visit uhs-pruitt.com/Working-at-UHS-Pruitt.

Chief Photographer Janet S. Carter contributed to this report. David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or danderson@freedomenc.com. Follow him on Twitter at DavidFreePress.

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