Less than nine months after starting the process, each of the seven final interns in a TechHire Eastern Kentucky-affiliated, work-based learning internship in Hazard, Ky., have earned their third Salesforce coding/development certification and are starting new, high-skill tech careers this month.

CentralApp Technologies partnered with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) and Teleworks USA to upskill Eastern Kentucky residents through an intensive curriculum that resulted in multiple certifications related to working within the Salesforce customer success platform. Salesforce is the world’s top CRM company, and empowers other companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way.

"We were amazed that through this very successful pilot program with EKCEP, the CentralApp team earned 23 Salesforce certifications,” said Patrick Farrell, co-founder of CentralApp. “These internationally recognized credentials prove that CentralApp's developers surpass the highest quality standards, and that living in a rural area no longer has to limit opportunities to work."

The CentralApp internship began with 10 interns in November 2016 at the Kentucky Career Center JobSight in Hazard. By February 2017, eight of the 10 had completed and passed the first phase of the program, earning certifications as Salesforce Administrators. Just three months later, they had earned a second certification as a Salesforce App Builder, and one of those eight exited the program after finding local employment as a Salesforce Administrator.

Now, the seven remaining interns have passed the final phase of the internship, earning their third certification—Salesforce Developer 1—and have already begun their new jobs as Salesforce developers with CentralApp, positions they will all be able to perform remotely from their homes in Eastern Kentucky via a broadband internet connection.

"CentralApp was founded because there is a growing demand for people with Salesforce skills,” said Farrell. “Our model was designed to deliver the high quality Salesforce development work you expect from U.S.-based companies at a price point that you can only find by outsourcing the work overseas."     

Though the interns who successfully completed internship now have positions with CentralApp, the Salesforce certifications they earned make them employable across the nation, noted EKCEP Director of Agency Expansion Michael Cornett. And they were able to gain these skills and certifications in a matter of months as opposed to years.

“These interns have completed a rigorous program that gives them the knowledge and sought-after industry certifications to be immediately employable in tech,” Cornett said. “This model gets our people out into the workforce more quickly, making them more able to get a quality job when they need it, and they can perform this work remotely right here in Eastern Kentucky.”

For more information on CentralApp Technologies, visit www.centralapptechnologies.com.

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.