Kentucky Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton and Sandra Dunahoo, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Local Government, made a stop in Beattyville on Friday, April 8 for a first-hand look at the work Teleworks USA is doing to help Eastern Kentucky workers transition to the new digital economy workplace.
During their stop at the newly opened Teleworks USA Teleworks Hub in Beattyville, Lt. Gov. Hampton and Commissioner Dunahoo met with Teleworks USA staff and saw local residents receiving training and job placement assistance at the Hub.
“We are honored that Lt. Gov. Hampton and Commissioner Dunahoo would come to our newest Teleworks Hub and see what is happening in Beattyville,” said Michael Cornett, director of agency expansion for the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP). “Teleworks USA is helping move people into the digital economy and connecting people in our region with job opportunities that they may have otherwise never considered or had the opportunity to do.”
Friday’s visit comes fresh off the heels of the Beattyville Hub’s grand opening on March 30. The Hub features online and instructor-led customer service, digital literacy, and tech support training, and includes fully equipped workstations to accommodate up to 27 teleworkers who may not have the necessary computer equipment or an adequate internet connection to work from home.
As of Friday, eight prospective teleworkers were receiving online training through Teleworks USA in the Hub’s inaugural training class. All of them have already scheduled interviews with telework employers.
An initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), Teleworks USA’s Hub model is already proving successful in Perry and Jackson counties. Since January 2015, nearly 180 people have landed telework jobs with assistance from Teleworks USA at the Hub in Annville, resulting in an estimated infusion of $3.5 million in new wages to the local area.
The creation of the Beattyville Teleworks Hub is the result of a partnership between EKCEP and leadership in Lee County, Cornett added, and the agency is seeing similar community support in other Eastern Kentucky counties. Teleworks USA is slated to open a fourth Hub in Harlan, Ky., by late April, and plans are also underway to bring Teleworks Hubs to Owsley and Martin counties later in the year. Louisa in Lawrence County has also expressed interest.
“Teleworks USA is actively expanding into other areas of Eastern Kentucky because local leaders see the jobs and economic impact we’ve had so far, and they know that the digital economy is the way forward in forging a new narrative for region,” Cornett said. “We hope to see the same positive effect for workers in these areas that we’re already seeing in places like Annville and will soon see in Beattyville.”
Teleworks USA identifies and develops legitimate remote-work, distance learning opportunities, and helps to prepare people for the jobs by training them in necessary teleworking skills, working with them on creating résumés and developing superior interviewing skills, then applying for an obtaining legitimate work-from-home positions through its website,www.teleworksusa.com.
EKCEP, a nonprofit workforce development agency headquartered in Hazard, Ky., serves 23 Appalachian coalfield counties. The agency provides an array of workforce development services and also administers the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) program, which provides career services to laid-off miners and their spouses. Find out more at www.jobsight.org and www.facebook.com/ekcep.