HAZARD — Working from home in your pajamas may not just be a dream for some people in Perry County anymore.
Kentucky Teleworks is an initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), a federally funded work force that serves 23 counties in the Appalachian coal fields. Kentucky Teleworks aims to bring the people of Eastern Kentucky to jobs around the country by supplying them with an opportunity to work as a remote employee from their home for one of their partnering companies.
Michael Cornett, director of agency expansion and public relations for EKCEP, said the initiative is bringing a special opportunity to Perry County.
“That’s what’s so great about this week, about what’s going on up at the Kentucky Career Center job site; we’re opening up our first ever bricks and mortar teleworks hub,” Cornett said.
Cornett said the service is opening this hub, which will have 22 offices and partnering companies ranging from J.P. Morgan-Chase to T Mobile, in order to give those people in the area who may not have adequate home office equipment or Internet access the ability to work as a teleworks employee by coming to the hub to work.
The company started screenings for potential employees on Monday and will finish them up Wednesday of this week. Cornett said they are hoping to hire hundreds of people from the area this week.
“We’re really excited to open this first real Teleworks hub facility for people just, basically, because, the jobs are there, but it provides them the opportunity to take jobs and get jobs that their own home office capabilities may prohibit them,” he said.
Cornett said the hub will be a permanent fixture in the community once it’s up and running.
“The plan is when people are able to work there long enough and save up enough money and invest in their home office equipment, they could then transfer to their home office, keep the same job for whatever company they’re teleworking for, and then that spot that they occupied in the hub would be open for someone else to rotate into,” he explained. “We don’t ever envision closing that facility.”
Cornett said the company has already begun looking at ways to open other hubs in other cities in the region, however, he couldn’t say at this time which places those could be in.
“This is just our first one, but it certainly won’t be our last one,” he said.
Cornett said the screenings will continue through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kentucky Career Center Perry County Jobsite on Morton Boulevard in Hazard. Job seekers need only to bring their résumé and social security card
“We bring the people to the jobs, not the jobs to the people,” Cornett said. “Removing barriers, that’s what we’re all about and that’s what Kentucky Teleworks was created to do.”