Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Teleworks USA Helps Owsley Countian Sarah Fox Advance into Promising Career

While Owsley Countian Sarah Fox may not be a stranger to work in the telecommunications field, she’s thankful she decided to take a chance and see how Teleworks USA could help her and her family.

After working at Sykes Enterprises for nearly a year, Fox said it was obvious she’d have to make her own moves to get to where she wanted to be with her career.

“I never had the opportunity to move up, I never had the opportunity to do anything,” Fox says as she settles into a chair in the offices of the Teleworks USA Hazard Teleworks Hub, located inside the Kentucky Career Center JobSight building in Perry County.

In the spring of 2017, Fox saw a social media post from Teleworks USA advertising a job fair for KellyConnect, a global telework employer that provides technical support for a variety of well-known companies. She decided then to take a chance and apply for the open positions.

Fox explains she’d heard about Teleworks USA previously when the Booneville Teleworks Hub had opened in Owsley County in 2016.

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.

Since its inception in 2012, Teleworks USA has opened Teleworks Hubs in Hazard, Hyden, Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, Louisa, and Pike County. Those Hubs have helped bring jobs to more than 1,400 Eastern Kentuckians, and those positions carry an estimated $30 million in economic impact in new annual wages to teleworkers across the Eastern Kentucky Coalfields.

“I was like, I’m going to try that out,” she says.

Fox called the Booneville Hub for more information in March 2017 and was directed to call Hazard Hub Manager Theresa Noble to get everything ready for the upcoming job fair.

“I called Theresa and scheduled a day for me to come and do all my online stuff, tests, and all that,” she says. “It only took me about an hour and a half to two hours to get everything done—my résumé and everything.”

After such a quick and easy process, Fox says she was well prepared for the in-person interview with KellyConnect officials at the job fair, and just a week later she had heard back from the company that she was chosen out of a group of more than 200 applicants to be hired and would start training at the end of May.

“I was pretty excited,” she says, adding that the salary she earns with KellyConnect outpaces most available jobs close to her home. “I started out at $12.25 an hour and now I’m up to $14.75. It’s unreal.”

Fox has worked for KellyConnect in technical support for more than a year now, and has received a promotion from Tier 1 advisor working with a general computer operating system to a Tier 2 advisor.

Without her current career, Fox says she’s not sure what her life would be like now.

"Honestly, I’d probably be working at some place that I’m miserable at because with the economy around here, it’s very hard to get a good job,” she says.

Fox adds that having Teleworks USA and the Teleworks Hubs in the region have been a priceless resource to her and others in her community.

“It’s brought a lot more jobs in,” Fox says. “My advice would always be to take that leap because you’re not going to lose anything. It’s done a lot for me. It’s been well worth it.”

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

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 http://www.ekcep.org, http://www.jobsight.org and http://www.facebook.com/ekcep.

While Owsley Countian Sarah Fox may not be a stranger to work in the telecommunications field, she’s thankful she decided to take a chance and see how Teleworks USA could help her and her family.

HAZARD