Monday, February 24, 2020

Teleworks USA Gets Jackson Countian Matthew Muncy Back on His Feet with New, Gainful Employment Opportunity

Jackson County native Matthew Muncy was at his wits’ end.

A string of low-paying jobs and a failed small business attempt filled the two and a half years since Muncy and his wife had been laid off from a local factory in 2015 when the company started outsourcing its work to other countries.

“It was a pretty tragic time for us. I was able to find little jobs here and there that didn’t really pay much—literally scraping the bottom of the barrel to get by,” Muncy says, his eyes welling with tears. “We went from where we were living and wound up losing our place and had to move in and stay with my grandmother, which is something that in the 13 years that me and my wife have been together we’ve never had to do something like that.”

Sitting in the offices of the Teleworks USA Annville Hub in Annville, Ky., Muncy admits he’s never even stopped to think where his and his family’s lives would be had he not taken a chance on his new career because it’s simply unfathomable for him.

“If it hadn’t been for Teleworks USA . . . it was a leap of faith because I had hit rock bottom, and it’s kind of like Teleworks filled the well to allow me to swim out,” he says.

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.

Before hearing about Teleworks in 2018, Muncy says he was convinced any work-from-home opportunity he learned about was two good to be true—including Teleworks USA.

“I’d looked online at all of these businesses that said you could work from home, but they would never go into specifics, and when you get to the end of everything they’re wanting a credit card, they’re wanting money,” Muncy explains.

Having exhausted all of his avenues for any type of gainful employment in his area, Muncy turned to his local Kentucky Career Center JobSight for employment assistance in February 2018. One of the expert career advisors at the JobSight directed him and his wife to the Teleworks USA Annville Hub to speak with Hub Manager Katelyn Dunn and Teleworks USA Operations Manager Betty Hays.

“I really thought that it was bogus, that it was just too good to be true. It’s just something that just doesn’t really exist, but it does. It’s here,” he adds.

Hays assisted the Muncys that same day with creating résumés appropriate for the type of jobs they would be applying for, and then immediately began helping them apply for any available positions with one of the many companies Teleworks USA works with to help find employees. Meanwhile, Dunn enrolled the Muncy’s in the customer service and technical support workshops, which Muncy calls a game-changer in the teleworking job search.

“With the workshop, it prepares you for specific positions, it gets you going in the right direction, and it lets you know this is what the company’s looking for, this is what they need, this is what they want,” he says, adding that many recruiters that he’s spoken with have told him that having the workshop on his résumé made him more hirable than some people with more than a decade of experience in customer service. “Any education is good education, but that workshop is job-specific.”

By the time Muncy and his wife had completed the workshop, they both had been hired on to short-term seasonal positions.

“When that (seasonal position) ended, it was kind of a letdown, but Betty (Hays) jumped right back in without hesitation,” Muncy remembers, his voice choking with emotion. “She never said that’s it, it’s over, we’ll call you back when we need you. It was, let’s see what else we’ve got.”

By the end of March 2018, Muncy was employed again, this time with a permanent position through Concentrix, a global teleworking company, as a customer service and tech support advisor for a global technologies company. And although he couldn’t pay at the time for his own home internet let alone home computer, Teleworks USA was able to set him up with an office space and computer setup that he could use until he got on his feet.

Now, two years with the company and a promotion on the horizon, Muncy can’t help but shed a few tears when he thinks of how far Teleworks USA has helped him better his and his family’s lives.

“It’s like daylight and dark,” he says. “We went from driving a car that was really not much, we were lucky that it started every day, to being able to buy a new car. We’re not late on our rent, we don’t have to worry about our electric being shut off or our phone being shut off.”

“I don’t have to say no when my kids want a candy bar,” Munch continues, hoarse with emotion. “I don’t have to say no when my wife wants her hair cut. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to take care of your family the way they deserve to be taken care of.”

Muncy laughs when asked about his typical workday, saying it can’t compare to any other workday he’s had in the past. Now, he simply wakes up 15 minutes before his shift, walks into his home office, turns on his computer, and he’s at work. There’s no stress with traffic, packing or buying lunch, or worrying about a vehicle.

“All those worries go out the window,” he says.

For anyone considering checking their local Teleworks USA Hub out, Muncy suggests not being as skeptical about it as he had been.

“The people at Teleworks are incredible people. They’re here to help, and they’ll do everything they can for you,” he says. “I’m proof of it.”

Since 2015, Teleworks USA Hubs or Digital Career Centers in Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, Hazard, Hyden, Louisa, Manchester, and Pike County have helped bring jobs to more than 2,400 Eastern Kentuckians, and those positions carry an estimated $54.9 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.

Jackson County native Matthew Muncy was at his wits’ end. A string of low-paying jobs and a failed small business attempt filled the two and a half years since Muncy and his wife had been laid off from a local factory in 2015 when the company started outsourcing its work to other countries.

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