Friday, May 31, 2019

Teleworks USA Helps Rowan Countian April Smith Get on Fast Track Back to Work

April Smith learned in October 2018 that she had been laid off from the office job she’d held for some time. Fortunately, she wouldn’t have to wait long before she was starting a new job, thanks to assistance from Teleworks USA.

Smith, a resident of Rowan County, Ky., first learned of Teleworks USA from a friend during a conversation about what her next steps would be to find a new job.

“She said, ‘It’s not (working from home) like you’ve heard before. It’s verified, real companies that you would be working for,’” Smith 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.

Smith didn’t wait long before contacting Amy Nunn, Teleworks USA’s outreach manager. As it happened, Nunn was busy at the time preparing for Teleworks USA’s first technical support and customer service workshop scheduled for nearby West Liberty. She was able to enroll Smith just before the workshop began.

“Luckily, it just happened to be in time for one of the workshops to start,” Smith says.

For Smith, the process of finding a new job was quick. During the workshop there was a lot of focus on finding the participants new jobs, she says. By the second day, she’d already received two job offers, including a permanent position with Support.com, a company that provides technical support for customers from across the United States. The job would not only provide a steady paycheck, but also allow her to work from her home office.

By late November, less than two months after beginning her job search, Smith was back to work and had begun six weeks of paid training through her new employer, which prepared her to begin taking live tech support calls via a broadband internet connection. And with her previous experience to rely on, she was ready to hit the ground running.

“I’ve always done work with the public and dealt with helping people, somehow or the other,” Smith says. “This is not so much different.”

Smith now works the day shift and clocks in for her workday 10 minutes after her alarm clock goes off. She says that short commute from her bedroom to the new office is one of the benefits of working from home. Another is the money she doesn’t have to spend on things like fuel for her car or lunch in town. But, she adds, for anyone unfamiliar with teleworking, it’s important to remember that these jobs are just like any other.

“I have no complaints about working from home,” Smith adds. “But you have to treat it like it’s a real job, because it is, and if you want to make that paycheck, you have to put forth the effort that it deserves.”

As for her experience with Teleworks USA, while it was brief, Smith says she’s already mentioned the service to several other people, and for those who may be hearing about it for the first time, it’s important to give it a chance.

“I think the biggest thing is for people to realize that it’s not one of the scams,” Smith says about Teleworks USA. “It’s a real, valid job that you make a regular paycheck. I get paid every two weeks without a problem. It’s in my account and I never have to worry about it.”

To find out more about Teleworks USA and how you can get connected with a legitimate work-from-home job, log on to teleworksusa.com or contact your nearest Teleworks USA Hub today. As an initiative of EKCEP, Teleworks USA’s employment services are completely free of charge.

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, 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 www.ekcep.orgwww.jobsight.org and www.facebook.com/ekcep.

April Smith learned in October 2018 that she had been laid off from the office job she’d held for some time. Fortunately, she wouldn’t have to wait long before she was starting a new job, thanks to assistance from Teleworks USA.

OUTREACH MANAGER