Friday, January 25, 2019

Teleworks USA Helps Breathitt Countian David Childers Find Fruitful Employment without Leaving His Hometown

Self-proclaimed “Jack of all Trades” David Childers says he’s likely worked almost every type of job available in Eastern Kentucky.

“I have a skill set that is wide and varying,” the Breathitt Countian says with a chuckle. “If you name it, I probably have some knowledge about it.”

Despite his varied work history, Childers says the one thing he had never thought to pursue—until recently—was finding a career through Teleworks USA.

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 eight expert Teleworks Hub Managers also help 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 the eight Teleworks Hubs.

“I’d actually been aware of them for a long time, I just never really thought it was for me,” he says as he swivels in a computer chair at the Teleworks USA Beattyville Hub.

Childers was no stranger to the employment and retraining services offered at his local Kentucky Career Center JobSight and WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) office. Having worked with the in-school youth program while he was in high school, he says he continued to return to the offices and his career advisors whenever he was in dire need of assistance with employment.

“For about 15 years, I’ve been around that setup, and that’s where I really got to knowing more about the companies who do work with Teleworks and what Teleworks actually does,” Childers explains.

At the beginning of 2018, Childers found himself at the receiving end of a pink slip, putting him and his family in a tough situation.

“I was out of work from January until about May of 2018,” he says, adding that at the time he thought he could find a good job on his own, without any help from his local career center.

“I was in a pretty rough spot, but it was mostly my own doing because I’m kind of hard headed and I think I have to do everything on my own,” Childers admits, a sheepish grin spreading across his face. “I felt like it was something I had to do, that nobody else could fix it.”

“I’ve come to learn that I can accept help and still do things on my own, though,” he adds.

Near the end of that four-month stretch of fruitless job searching, Childers realized he had two options—continue to struggle on his own or go to the people he knew could help him find a job.

A trip to the Kentucky Career Center in Jackson put Childers on track to speak with Beattyville Teleworks Hub Manager Tracie Spencer about how Teleworks USA could help put him in contact with teleworking companies and positions all over the globe.

“When I did get in contact with Tracie, she was very helpful and very outgoing. Any questions I had she answered immediately, and if she did not know the answer she would find the answer,” Childers says.

“It was a pretty painless process,” he adds.

Spencer started by working with Childers on his résumé, which was strong as he had already had teleworking experience with his previous employer Sykes Enterprises and had made many trips over the years to speak with his career advisors.

“Tracie told me what I needed to do, and I followed her instructions,” he says. “If you’re really looking for a job, you have to act like you have a job—your job is looking for a job. You’ve got to put in the hours, you’ve got to put in the effort, you’ve got to beat down doors, you’ve got to aggravate people.”

Childers says he was prepared to put that mindset into action when he began his application processes for companies through Teleworks USA, but was pleased to find out he didn’t have to do that.

“This particular setting, in my mind, makes it even easier because everything’s in one spot. You don’t have to run here or run there,” Childers says. “I just told Tracie what I was looking to do, she told me what she had available, and we came up with a plan.”

Childers says Spencer even went so far as to sit him down and show him exactly where and how to apply for all the jobs he was interested in.

“She set me up with an account with Teleworks as well, that way if my applications didn’t pan out we could just log back in and look at other available options,” he adds.

Soon after sending out his applications, Childers got a call from Conduent, the world’s largest provider of diversified business process services, and a few interviews and assessments later he was starting his training class in May 2018.

Now a work-from-home technical support agent for a global hardware, software, and communications company, Childers says he’s so thankful for the help he was able to receive from Teleworks USA in landing what has become his dream job.

“Honestly, I hated call centers. They’re loud, they’re noisy, and they’re musty. Some people—they just don’t have respect for other people,” he says. “Here, obviously it’s a work-from-home position, so there are no other people. There’s no reason to be late, really, all you have to do is roll out of bed, wash your face, and turn your computer on.”

“I think it’s a pretty good setup,” Childers adds, laughing. “As far as working here in the Hub, you have multiple options to make these jobs work for you.”

With the amount of help offered from Teleworks USA and from the companies that work with Teleworks, Childers says anyone could be a teleworker.

“This job at Conduent where I’m currently working, there seems to be plenty of room for advancement. There’s plenty of support for you to do the job that you’re hired to do,” he says. “You can also come in (to a Teleworks USA Hub) and they will try to help you to brush up or maybe even study that way you can become more familiar with the job you’re applying for before you ever actually apply to it. I think that was a key benefit in helping me obtain this job as well.”

Childers adds that though he could have pursued other career paths through his local career center, the path with Teleworks USA has been amazing.

“This is probably the best option for me because of the flexibility—I’m working right at home—and also the pay rates are fairly good,” he says. “I know a lot of people say, well, we live in Eastern Kentucky and there’s nothing here, to which I am 100 percent able to tell you you’re wrong. If you want to work, there is work everywhere—even in your hometown, even up your little holler.”

To find out more information about Teleworks USA, go to!

Since 2015, Teleworks USA Hubs in Hazard, Hyden, Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, Louisa, and Pike County have helped bring jobs to more than 1,800 Eastern Kentuckians, and those positions carry an estimated $40 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, administers the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) program for dislocated coal miners and their spouses, and is the White House-designated lead organization for the federal TechHire designation for Eastern Kentucky. Learn more about us at, and

Self-proclaimed “Jack of all Trades” David Childers says he’s likely worked almost every type of job available in Eastern Kentucky.

“I have a skill set that is wide and varying,” the Breathitt Countian says with a chuckle. “If you name it, I probably have some knowledge about it.”


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