Thursday, August 24, 2017

Teleworks USA set to Open Eighth Teleworks Hub, Start Digital Economy Workshops in Lawrence County on September 5

A new opportunity for employment—in the new digital economy—is on the way for jobseekers in and around Lawrence County.

Teleworks USA is bringing its proven, successful customer service, digital literacy and tech support workshops to the Lawrence County Community Center in Louisa starting Sept. 5 with the opening of Teleworks USA’s eighth Teleworks Hub.

Teleworks USA Operations Manager Betty Hays said the Hub has been in the planning stages for some time, and all partners involved are thrilled to finally announce its opening.

"Hopefully this can bring as much success to Louisa and the surrounding communities as our other Hub locations have brought to their areas,” Hays said.

Since its inception in 2012, Teleworks USA has opened brick-and-mortar Teleworks Hubs in Hazard, Hyden, Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, and Pike County. In the time that those Hubs have been in operation, they have helped create nearly 1,050 new jobs, bringing a potential $22.9 million in economic impact in new annual wages to workers across the Eastern Kentucky Coalfields.

Michael Cornett, director of agency expansion for Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) and Teleworks USA, said opening a Hub in Lawrence County brings huge potential for growth to the area and its people.

“Teleworks USA continues to expand in the region with this new Hub opening, making it more possible for even more citizens to find gainful, sustainable employment,” Cornett said. “We have been lucky to be able to bring these kinds of opportunities to our people thus far, and hope that the new Lawrence County Teleworks Hub will open doors to new possibilities of what we can do with our Hubs in the future.”

Cornett explained that the new Lawrence County Hub, located within the community center at 180 Bulldog Lane, will operate slightly differently than the previous Hubs the program has opened.

“This Hub will be a part of the community center, but won’t have a permanent Hub Manager like the other locations who is stationed there year-round,” he said.

That’s because thanks to a grant from USDA Rural Development secured by EKCEP, and additional in-kind and financial contributions from Lawrence County Fiscal Court including a Kentucky Power Economic Advancement Program (KEAP) grant, Teleworks USA will be able to launch a new “mobile skills workshop” deployment model within the Lawrence County facility. Additional contributions have been made from a host of local businesses and organizations, including: Foothills Communications, Louisa Rotary Club, Sullivan University, State Farm Insurance, Walmart, Inez Deposit Bank, Quality Metal New Energy Resources, and Best Western.

What this means for interested teleworkers is that Teleworks USA’s workshops will be held at the Hub space every other month starting in September, Hays said.

“For that whole month, our expert-led workshops will be ongoing, and there will be a Teleworks Hub manager onsite to answer any questions, help with any issues, and help people apply for legitimate, vetted digital job opportunities they can work within their homes,” Hays explained. “On the off months, staff with the Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency, which is located in the same building, will be on hand to assist anyone who is interested in signing up for upcoming workshops or needs help becoming a teleworker.”

Further, project partner Lycom Communications is waiving 50 percent of the cost of a 100 Mbps Fiber connection and 100 percent of the network installation cost for local organizations that provide additional in-kind contributions and support for the Teleworks Hub initiative in Lawrence County. Additionally, all successful jobseekers who live within the Lycom service area and complete the four-week Teleworks USA workshop in Louisa, are hired by a national telework employer, are prepared to begin working at home will also be eligible to receive a two-month voucher for a 25 Mbps broadband connection to jumpstart their work-from-home career.

Additionally, Foothills Communications has generously committed to provide a $25 monthly discount for broadband service for local Teleworks USA clients who live outside of the Lycom service area and have successfully gained employment.

Spots are still available for the first Teleworks USA workshop in Lawrence County, which starts on September 5, but seating is limited. For more information, call Bridget James at the NKCAA at 606-638-4949 or email at bridget.james@nkcaa.net.

A grand opening ceremony for the Lawrence County Hub is scheduled to take place later in September. That date will be announced as soon as information becomes available.

An initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Teleworks USA identifies and develops legitimate remote-work, distance learning opportunities, and helps to prepare people for the jobs by training them in customer service and digital literacy, working with them on creating résumés and developing superior interviewing skills, then applying for an obtaining legitimate work-from-home positions through its website, www.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.