Representatives from two global companies got an up-close look at how Teleworks USA is helping to connect companies like theirs with prospective teleworkers in Eastern Kentucky.

Karen Beaman and Carolyn Lewandowski with Sutherland, and Angela Mackay and Arika Aerts with Concentrix, met with Teleworks USA staff, community partners, and local teleworkers during multiple open house events this week at Teleworks Hubs in the region. Teleworks USA facilitated the Hub tours in an effort to garner commitments to bring new telework jobs to Eastern Kentucky’s workforce and placements at the agency’s seven Teleworks Hubs in the region.

“I continue to be impressed with the work that Teleworks USA is doing to train people and prepare them for digital work,” said Beaman, senior director for talent acquisition with Sutherland. “It’s great to see communities, public organizations, and private companies work together to bring jobs to Eastern Kentucky."

The first open house was held in Beattyville on Tuesday, June 27, with subsequent stops at the Hubs in Pike and Perry counties on Wednesday, with a final stop at the Annville Teleworks Hub in Jackson County Thursday morning.

“Both Sutherland and Concentrix have been great partners with Teleworks USA in the past,” said Michael Cornett, EKCEP’s director of agency expansion and Teleworks USA. “These events were a great opportunity to show off what we’ve been up to in regard to our Hubs, and illustrate the commitment our staff and community partners have made to ensure Teleworks USA is the best avenue it can be to connect employers with new teleworkers.”

Each of Teleworks USA’s Teleworks Hubs opened since 2015 have received integral support from local partners, including city and county governments and utilities and internet service providers. Teleworks USA has also received support from the Appalachian Regional Commission in the form of grants to provide much needed financial support.

“We’re extremely grateful for that local support,” added Teleworks USA Operations Manager Betty Hays. “Our Hub system is very unique and provides prospective teleworkers not only with opportunities to prepare for jobs, but space to perform those jobs. We’ve been optimistic that once telework employers visit our Hubs and see for themselves what we do, it will result in more opportunities for either work-from-home or work-from-Hub positions here in Eastern Kentucky.”

Concentrix is seeing a need for new remote workers, Aerts said, adding that she’s confident the demand will continue into the near future. Teleworks USA hosted two jobs fairs for Concentrix in Hazard and Pikeville on Thursday and Friday, respectively, as the company was set to fill multiple customer service representative positions. Approximately 150 people were expected to attend, based on pre-registrations.

“It is a very good setup, and very well thought through,” Aerts said. “It’s definitely a great partnership and I’m happy to partner with this company (Teleworks USA).”

Cornett said Teleworks USA will host three similar open house events for additional state, national, and global telework employers this year and next year as a way to forge new employer partnerships and develop new telework opportunities for Eastern Kentucky’s workforce. Since 2015, Teleworks USA has helped create nearly 900 telework jobs in the region with an estimated economic impact of more than $19.1 million in new wages.

“We know our region has a tremendous workforce with people who want to work remotely,” Cornett said. “Teleworks USA is making those connections already, but by bringing companies like Concentrix and Sutherland here to Eastern Kentucky, they’re getting a first-hand look at what we have to offer.”

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.