Andrea Mathis was about to enter her third month of submitting job applications and looking for work near her home in Lee County. Her search wasn’t going well, and by February 2019 she was on the verge of giving up and looking at the possibility of moving away from Eastern Kentucky to find employment.
“I started putting in applications in December, and I had put in 20 or more,” she says. “It had been two months and I was about to give up hope. If I didn’t find a job I was going to have to move.”
Mathis had moved to Kentucky from Mississippi two years prior, and just as she was beginning to wonder what sort of future she might have in the region, a friend told her of a place he’d heard about called 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.
For Mathis, it was her first time hearing about Teleworks USA, but after a weeks-long, fruitless search for jobs near her home, she decided to make a stop at the Beattyville Teleworks Hub, where she met with Hub Manager Tracie Spencer.
Spencer outlined the services Mathis could receive at the Beattyville Hub, which also offers workspace for clients once they land a job but don’t have adequate office space or an adequate internet connection at home. Spencer also noted that she’d assist Mathis with submitting applications to a wide range of telework employers.
Mathis says the workspace option was a bonus, but she remained unsure if her experience with Teleworks USA would land her the job she needed.
“I was kind of skeptical, because I’ve already been putting in applications for jobs,” she says, adding that she also didn’t have prior experience in customer support. “And she explained to me that they don’t have to be right here in Beattyville, that I can be working with anybody from anywhere.”
Mathis enrolled with Teleworks USA in February, and with Spencer’s assistance submitted her first application a couple of days later. In the meantime, she completed Teleworks USA’s customer service modules and within two weeks received her first job offer. By March she’d begun training with her new employer, Support.com, providing technical support via a broadband internet connection to customers from across the United States.
Mathis has since advanced from training to taking live calls and assisting customers, and is also taking advantage of the workspace within the Beattyville Teleworks Hub. It was all such a quick and surprising turn around, she says, especially after several weeks of undergoing a job search on her own.
And it’s certainly an experience she would recommend to others, she adds.
“I definitely would recommend Teleworks,” she says. “If someone is committed and they’re really looking for a job, I’d suggest it. All of the companies I’ve applied for have better pay than most jobs around here.”
The work of Teleworks USA aligns with SOAR’s Regional Blueprint goals of broadband and preparing the workforce to compete and thrive in the digital economy. Teleworks USA and EKCEP are a Grassroots Partner of SOAR.
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 1,800 Eastern Kentuckians, and those positions carry an estimated $40 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.org, http://www.jobsight.org and http://www.facebook.com/ekcep.