PRESTONSBURG – The economy in Floyd County and all of Eastern Kentucky has been on a downward spiral. Thousands of coal miners have been laid off and that has led to other businesses suffering as well. Families wanting to stay in the area are having to look outside the box for opportunities of employment and ways to support their family. The East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program developed Teleworks USA several years ago with hopes of bringing high demand, high growth telework jobs to Kentucky.
EKCEP created Teleworks following a yearlong sustainability study called the “Eastern Kentucky Distance Earning Initiative.”
Currently, Teleworks USA has direct contact with companies such as Apple, JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, eBay, Direct TV, U-Haul and several others.
“I registered with Teleworks USA and was able to obtain a job working from home after my husband was laid off from the oil field,” said Sheila Thompson of Prestonsburg. “I thank God for this opportunity. Anyone with decent computer skills and an internet connection and phone line can get a job. This is an opportunity anyone looking for a job should look into.”
Some of the most important motivation factors for teleworking are life-work balance, productivity, more family time and reduced commute time.
Teleworks USA is based in Hazard and has hubs in various locations such as Jackson, Annville, Beattyville, Harlan and Booneville, its newest center which opened on July 5.
In addition to hosting job fairs and bringing workers and employers together, Teleworks USA also offers customer service and digital literacy training to prepare potential teleworkers for customer service jobs.
According to the Teleworks USA officials, the organization has seen significant success in matching people with opportunities at hubs in Hazard, Beattyville, Annville and Harlan. Since opening in January of 2015, Teleworks USA’s Annville hub alone helped bring more than 298 jobs and an estimated six million dollars in new wages to Jackson and surrounding counties. The typical salary for a starting teleworks job is above minimum wage.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.