Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Owsley Countian Kaylee Turner Transitions from Working in the Field to Working in the Hub with Help from Teleworks USA

Working behind a desk, attached to a computer all day is a big jump from working in the woods and among nature at a state park. Owsley Countian Kaylee Turner says that jump has worked perfectly for her, though, since transitioning from her job at Natural Bridge State Park to a teleworking position she acquired with the help of Teleworks USA.

Turner sits behind her desk at the Booneville Teleworks USA Hub, swiveling side-to-side in her chair. She explains that she’d worked at Natural Bridge State Park during the summers while she was finishing up her schooling at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU).

Since most state parks partially shut down for the season once summer is over, Turner found herself without a job in October 2018, and also without school to keep her occupied as she had just recently graduated from EKU.

“I heard about Teleworks ever since it got started in Owsley, and then it grew and grew and grew, and it’s become pretty popular,” Turner says of the Booneville Hub, which opened its doors in 2016. “I heard they were hiring for different companies, and I thought, well, maybe they’ve got something that would be up my alley.”

An initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Teleworks USA identifies and develops legitimate remote-work job opportunities with multiple national and global companies. Teleworks USA’s team of expert managers also helps prepare people for the jobs by upskilling them in customer service and technical support workshops, helping them craft strong résumés and hone their interviewing skills, and assisting them in applying for available remote-work positions they can work within their homes or eight Teleworks Hubs.

Being pretty tech-savvy already after years of personal experience with certain phones, computers, and tablet devices, Turner says she felt confident she could handle any customer service job that was offered. In December 2018, she made the trip to the Booneville Hub to speak with Hub Manager Carla Gabbard about what her next step should be.

“I went to Carla and asked if there was a job . . . just whatever jobs were available at that time that I would like,” she remembers. “She helped me fill out applications and she helped me do the video interview and kind of helped write down notes and get everything started.”

Gabbard suggested a newly available position with Teleperformance, a customer service provider for global tech companies. Turner says that once she applied, the hiring process was quick and simple, and within the month she’d been officially hired as a customer support agent.

“It was pretty much automatic because I work with the products that they would use, so it was more of a better hiring process because I’d grown up with the products that they use, working with them and using them in school and at home. I know how the products work and use them every day,” she says.

“I like it,” Turner adds, speaking of her job. “It pays good, for around here, it pays really great. You aren’t going to find a job that pays what it pays anywhere close. From working outside and [getting paid] $9 an hour to [getting paid] $13 an hour is a pretty big jump.”

In the nearly a year that Turner has been working with Teleperformance, she has been promoted to a tech support specialist, something she says you can’t always count on in other employers in her experience.

“Instead of going through a temporary service, you go through a company that guarantees that you’ll keep the job and stay with the job as long as you’ll do the work, and they’ll help you go up the ladder and get better positions,” she says. “There are better opportunities in the job itself and you have room to grow, room to learn.”

Turner says she feels lucky to have found such a great job that she can work from the comfort of a private workspace in the Booneville Teleworks Hub since the only other option she had in mind at the time was trying to get a job in Lexington, Ky., and commute from Owsley County and back daily.

“I think it’s (Teleworks USA) a great opportunity for people that don’t want to drive far, that if they have good internet at home that they can stay at home and work and don’t have to leave home, especially in winter when they won’t have to be on slick roads and it keeps everybody safe in the long run,” Turner says, adding that the Teleworks Hub system is also a great asset to anyone without access to high-speed internet or a suitable work environment at their home.

Since becoming a teleworker, Turner says she would recommend it to anyone that lives in or around Owsley County because it’s an absolute game-changer.

“Usually you have to drive to a different job—it’s nice to have one that’s close to home where you can just stay at home or you can drive just five minutes to,” she says. “About half the county, I think, has work-at-home jobs now, thanks to Teleworks, so it makes pretty good money and has been something great for around here.”

Since 2015, Teleworks USA Hubs in Hazard, Hyden, Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, Louisa, and Pike County have helped bring jobs to more than 2,100 Eastern Kentuckians, and those positions carry an estimated $47 million in economic impact in new annual wages to teleworkers across the Eastern Kentucky Coalfields.

EKCEP, a nonprofit workforce development agency headquartered in Hazard, Ky., serves the citizens of 23 Appalachian coalfield counties. The agency provides an array of workforce development services and operates the Kentucky Career Center JobSight network of workforce centers, which provide access to more than a dozen state and federal programs that offer employment and training assistance for jobseekers and employers all under one roof. Learn more about us at http://www.ekcep.orghttp://www.jobsight.org and http://www.facebook.com/ekcep.

Working behind a desk, attached to a computer all day is a big jump from working in the woods and among nature at a state park. Owsley Countian Kaylee Turner says that jump has worked perfectly for her, though, since transitioning from her job at Natural Bridge State Park to a teleworking position she acquired with the help of Teleworks USA.

Turner sits behind her desk at the Booneville Teleworks USA Hub, swiveling side-to-side in her chair. She explains that she’d worked at Natural Bridge State Park during the summers while she was finishing up her schooling at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU).

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