Beattyville, KY. – Lee Countian Casey Hall had tried to find work just about everywhere she could think of in her hometown of Beattyville. From gas stations to restaurants, she applied at seemingly every establishment in her small town with no luck.
“I was unemployed and I had been for probably about two years because I just couldn’t find work around here,” Hall says of her situation in the summer of 2019.
On the verge of giving up hope, Hall heard about a program from her step-dad that offered assistance to anyone looking for work in the area—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 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.
“I knew that they could help you get a job, I knew that and I had heard of it, but I didn’t know that it was around here. Actually, I didn’t even know it was in Kentucky,” Hall admits of her lack of knowledge about the program before her stepfather brought it to her attention.
Though she may not have known much about the program, she knew that—like most other things—it likely had a social media presence. Hall looked up her local Teleworks USA Hub contact information that same day and was able to text Beattyville Hub Manager Tracie Spencer to set up an appointment.
“I came in and she helped me with my résumé, got all that updated. After that, you have to take a typing test that’s required for the jobs . . . and then you have to do some assessments, and she helped me with that, too,” Hall says of her first meeting with Spencer. “It wasn’t a very long process, a couple of hours at most.”
After finishing her initial assessments and paperwork, Hall was able to start applying for jobs, the first of which was for the customer service company Concentrix as a product support specialist.
“I had actually previously tried to apply for the company Concentrix on my own before I heard about Teleworks, and they wouldn’t give me the time of day,” Hall says. “When I cam here, it was a different story.”
Within a week, Hall had gotten a job offer with a company working through Concentrix. And although the position was part-time, Hall says that worked perfectly for her since she had signed up for college classes around the same time, so a part-time work shift played well with her schedule.
“It’s been a lot of changes, but I’m doing pretty good with it,” she says, adding that doesn’t mean she didn’t stumble along the way.
“My first call, I got a 0 on my survey . . . because I was just so nervous and we were on the call for like 45 minutes and I still wasn’t able to help him at all,” she says with a laugh, cringing at the memory. “I feel like I’ve learned more in production that I did during the training. I’m getting to where I enjoy it and I’m feeling more comfortable now.”
Not only is Hall more comfortable in her job, but she’s also been able to find more comfort in her life as well. Living at home with her parents has been her norm for the last two years, she says, but will be changing thanks to the income she’s able to have because of her teleworking position.
“I’m actually able to take care of myself financially now. It’s nice,” she says. “After going two years without having any income, it eases your mind.”
Hall says getting to work is also something she doesn’t have to worry about since the Beattyville Hub is less than five minutes from her house. And if she’s ever unable to make it into the Hub in the future, she always has the option to transition to working from home instead.
For anyone questioning whether Teleworks USA will work for them, Hall says it’s worth it to just go for it.
“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she says. “I think it gives me a bit of an advantage over other people.”
Since 2015, Teleworks USA Hubs or Digital Career Centers in Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, Hazard, Hyden, Louisa, Manchester, and Pike County have helped bring jobs to more than 2,400 Eastern Kentuckians, and those positions carry an estimated $54.9 million in economic impact in new annual wages to teleworkers across the Eastern Kentucky Coalfields.
To learn more about Teleworks USA, visit their website.