Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:33PM - 549 Views
Cris Ritchie

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HAZARD — Kentucky Teleworks is helping hundreds of people turn working from home in a full-time position with full benefits from a dream to reality.

Still, some who may want to take advantage of such an opportunity lack the high-speed Internet connectivity, computer equipment, and office space in their homes necessary to launch a telework career.

To combat those issues, Kentucky Teleworks—an initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. — has created the Teleworks Hub, a remote office facility in Hazard that will allow people to work in the global economy from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky when teleworking at home is not currently an option for them.

Located at the Kentucky Career Center Perry County JobSight in Hazard, the 22-office facility features state-of-the-art broadband Internet connectivity and computer equipment, as well as new office furniture.

On February 25-27, Kentucky Teleworks will conduct job screenings for people interested in working at the Teleworks Hub in Hazard. The screenings will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and will take place at the Kentucky Career Center Perry County JobSight, located at 412 Roy Campbell Drive in Hazard, just past Whayne Supply.

Applicants interested in being screened on-site for positions to be staffed at the Teleworks Hub should bring a current resume, valid identification card, and Social Security card.

Joshua Ball, manager of Kentucky Teleworks, said the new facility makes it possible to eliminate nearly all barriers for people seeking a telework career.

“In the world of telework, it’s about bringing the people to the jobs instead of bringing the jobs to the people,” Ball said. “We’re very thankful that the leadership at EKCEP and the L.K.L.P. Community Action Council embraced this concept and allowed for the creation of the Teleworks Hub. We hope to ultimately replicate this model in cities across the region.”

Jeff Whitehead, EKCEP executive director, said the Teleworks Hub will use its digital infrastructure and connectivity to connect the region’s teleworkers with their remote employers, some of whom may be located across the nation or even in another country.

“Just like a hub serves as the connection point for devices in a larger network,” Whitehead said, “our Teleworks Hub erases geography and distance to serve as the connection point for workers in our Kentucky Teleworks system to unite with their employers in our vast network.”

Ball said EKCEP hopes to allow teleworkers to work at the facility long enough to save money to purchase computer equipment and broadband access to upgrade their home office. Once installed, those teleworkers could transfer into their homes and continue working there.

Their spots in the Teleworks Hub would then be freed up for other potential teleworkers to occupy immediately and begin the same cycle, he said.

Through its website—www.kentuckyteleworks.com—jobseekers have access to thousands of vetted work-from-home jobs. Over the past two years, Kentuckians have landed jobs with well-known national companies like DirecTV, Amazon.com, T-Mobile, Comcast, JP Morgan Chase and others.

One partner, call center services vendor StarTek, has approved the Teleworks Hub in Hazard as the work site for positions they fill for a nationally recognized telephone and Internet provider.

Ball said some applicants might be hired on the spot during the three-day screening event. For those who aren’t, telework job opportunities may still be in the cards for them, and that’s added incentive to attend the events.

“Our job screenings really never end,” he said. “Once you’re entered in the Kentucky Teleworks system through our website, we’ll keep looking for the best jobs for you and let you know when the right fit comes along.

“If you’re willing to work, we’re willing to get you to work” Ball said.

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